Play the Theremin: Method Books and Tutors

Method Books and Tutors

Information and advice on currently available method books and DVDs

There are a number of theremin method books available to buy or download for free. There are also two excellent theremin instructional DVDs available. In truth, none of these titles are a 'magic pill' to provide you with everything you need to know, rather each title here has something to offer, and any budding thereminist is advised to sample as many of these resources as they can, and then think carefully about which elements are the best to adopt. 

Clara Rockmore Method

The most well known is Clara Rockmore's Method for Theremin, which is available for download from David Miller's excellent site in its original English Version, as well as in Spanish and Italian translations. Disappointingly, whilst this method contains sound advice and some excellent exercises, it doesn't cover a great deal of technique. However, its definitely worth a look.

Victor Estrada Method

Spanish thereminist Victor Estrada has put together a useful method, available from his website (see links). Its available for free download in English and Spanish.

The Art of Playing the Theremin 

Carolina Eyck's The Art of Playing the Theremin is another useful guide, and weighing in at ninety pages, contains a plethora of useful exercises and pieces arranged for the theremin. Carolina's playing style is based on a basic eight hand positions, so that an entire octave range can be played from a 'closed' to an 'open' hand position. This method, though it seems to have brought Carolina success, is rather controversial and differs widely from the Rockmore or Kavina style of playing. However, even if you choose not to adopt Carolina's system, the book pays for itself in terms of the sheer number of exercises contained within it.

How To Play The Theremin With Peter Pringle

Peter Pringle's How to Play the Theremin is a valuable addition to any thereminist's collection. Totalling one hour and forty three minutes, Pringle demonstrates his impressive collection of theremins - Samuel Hoffman's RCA, Julius Goldberg's RCA, the Moog Ethervox Theremin, and the Moog Etherwave Theremin, describes and demonstrates impeccably a variety of theremin techniques, and even goes as far as demonstrating the MIDI capabilities of the Moog Ethervox.

Mastering the Theremin

Mastering the Theremin is Lydia Kavina's own instructional DVD, and covers the basic elements of playing the theremin in six lessons. Mastering the Theremin also includes an introduction to the theremin by Bob Moog, and performances of a number of Lydia's own works, including her 'Swampmusic' for theremin and tape, 'Der Monolog' for solo theremin, and her wonderful 'Suite for Theremin and Piano', which is a real showcase for the capabilities of the theremin. On this DVD, Kavina plays her Moog 91A Theremin.

Moog Music are currently bundling this item with 'Clara Rockmore - World's Greatest Theremin Virtuosa', which has an introduction by Bob Moog, contains a number of performances by Clara Rockmore, as well as an interesting discussion of the theremin.

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