Leon Theremin's Musical Dance Platform

A theremin played by 'dancing' on its special platform. The vertical movements change the pitch, and volume is controlled by the depth of the performer from the back of the platform.

The performer stands on the platform, which is a conductive metal plate, and functions in much the same way as the pitch antenna on a traditional theremin. The difference with this instrument is that it produces a discrete series of pitches, rather than a portamento effect.

 Terpistone Diagram

With this instrument, Theremin united music, movement, and dance in a totally new way, and left the performer free to move the whole of their body, rather than just the arms as with the theremin.

The instrument also offered a degree of visual feedback too - the lights would indicate the pitch of the notes to aid the performer.

Sadly, only one of Theremin's Terpistone instruments is known to survive until the present day, and this instrument belongs to Lydia Kavina. Built in the late seventies, it is currently on loan to the Theremin Center in Moscow's Tchaikovsky Conservatory.

Leon Theremin

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