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Termen and his Termenvox, USSR, 1932

Termen and his Termenvox, USSR, 1932

H420/0219

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Credit

SPUTNIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SPUTNIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Termen and his Termenvox. Russian and Soviet engineer Lev Termen (1896-1993) in 1932, playing his termenvox, an electric musical instrument that he had invented in 1919. Born Lev Termen, he was later known as Leon Theremin, and the musical instrument came to be known as a theremin. It was based on the heterodyne principle, and was played without touch by moving the hands through the air around the antennae. One controlled the pitch, and the other the volume. Termen toured Europe with his invention, patenting it in the USA in 1929. He lived in the USA in the 1930s, moving back to the USSR in 1938. There, he invented the first covert listening device. Termen returned to the USA in 1991, dying at the age of 97.

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