The Keyboard Electric Harmonium . Lev Sergeyevich Termen, USA/Russia, 1926

Lev Sergeyevich Termen most famous for creating the ‘Theremin’ also invented many other electronic instruments based on the heterodyning vacuum tube technology of the day – including the Keyboard Theremin, Theremin Cello, Terpsitone, Rhythmicon and the ‘Electric Harmonium’ or ‘Theremin Harmonium’.

Theremin Harmonium
Theremin Harmonium

Termen’s Harmonium was an early vacuum tube based polyphonic instrument designed to accompany vocal performances. The instrument had a three octave keyboard with a variable tuning that allowed 1,200 micro-tonal divisions per octave. The timbre and volume of the sound could be varied using twelve dials fixed to the front of the instrument.

Early version of the Theremin Harmonium. From the The Theremin Center for Electroacoustic Music , Moscow, Russia(1)
Early version of the Theremin Harmonium. From the The Theremin Center for Electroacoustic Music , Moscow, Russia(1)
Theremin's later version of the Harmonium. Each key plays a tunable (micro)tone which is reproduced with its own amplifier and speaker.
Theremin’s later version of the Harmonium. Each key plays a tunable (micro)tone which is reproduced with its own amplifier and speaker.

 


Sources:

(1) Theremin Center for Electroacoustic Music

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