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In commemoration of 100 years since the invention of the theremin, Moog has unveiled the retro-futuristic limited edition Claravox Centennial.

Announcing the new theremin, named after the "original theremin virtuosa" Clara Rockmore, Moog claims that the Claravox "offers the highest quality control and sound available." The Claravox Centennial is marketed for both veteran and aspiring thereminists.

Moog explains that the limited-edition instrument was developed "in celebration of the theremin's past, present, and future." It builds on Moog's experience, more than six decades since its founder Robert Moog began building these instruments in the 1950s.

 

The Most Versatile Theremin in History

The Claravox Centennial allows players to choose between its Traditional and Modern modes. These selectable modes allow the thereminists to play using either the traditional heterodyne analog or the more modern digital oscillators. Claravox employs the same wave-shaping circuit as its popular item Etherwave Pro.

In conjunction with production studio setups or recording, the Claravox is also fitted with standard ports and adapters - DIN, MIDI, USB, and CV connectors - to connect with most digital audio workstations (DAWs). Also, front-panel preset storage allows players to instantly playback previous sounds and settings, as well as pitch quantization and scale selections for aspiring thereminists. It also comes with its own editing software, allowing more post-production options for musicians looking to work on their own tracks.

Introducing Claravox Centennial
(Photo: Moog Synthesizers Twitter Page)
The most versatile Moog theremin in history, this new limited-edition instrument honors the 100th anniversary of Leon Theremin's musical invention.

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In terms of aesthetics, the Claravox Centennial emits an aura of class with brass antennas, a walnut finish, and a number of gold-topped rotary knobs.

Music history has been marked by the birth of strange instruments like the theremin, in addition to classical instruments such as the piano and the violin. In line with the 100 years of the theremin, the Moog website has also featured "A Scrapbook of Thoughts" that details the history of the weird instrument - filled with anecdotes and trivia bits about the theremin and famous thereminists.

 


Playing The Theremin: A Distinct Part of Modern Music

The theremin, also known as the aetherphone or the thereminvox, is an electronic musical instrument. It mainly included a controller and two antennas, which creates a field that senses the position of the player's hands. Through the positioning of the hand, a thereminist can control the pitch and volume of the sound.

Since it was first invented in 1920 by Leon Theremin, from Soviet research into proximity sensors, the theremin has been used for a number of movie and television show soundtracks, with its sound being associated with eerie and suspenseful situations.

An electronics enthusiast, Robert Moog, started building the theremins after World War II. In the instrument's 100 years, it has seen a number of famous musicians known for the theremin aside from Moog and Rockmore: Dorit Chrysler, The Lothars, up to The Silver Wizard Project.

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In 2008, Lydia Kavina, Yana Aksenova, and Anton Kerchenko from the Moscow Theremin Center performed seven melodies in the world's first METI broadcast - Messaging to Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence. A published report in the journal Theory and Methods of Signal Processing showed how the earlier NASA Beatles Transmission project was deemed scientifically insufficient, and presenting the specifications of the "First Theremin Concert for Extraterrestrials."

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