Great instruments: the theremin and its music

Course Dates: 07/08/24
Time: 18:00 - 21:00
Location: Keeley Street
Tutors: 
Discover the world’s first electrical musical instrument, its curious history and influence, and get a chance to learn how to play it!
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Full fee £39.00 Senior fee £39.00 Concession £39.00

Great instruments: the theremin and its music
  • Course Code: MD039C
  • Dates: 07/08/24 - 07/08/24
  • Time: 18:00 - 21:00
  • Taught: Wed, Evening
  • Duration: 1 session
  • Location: Keeley Street
  • Tutor: Karl Lutchmayer

Course Code: MD039C

Wed, eve, 07 Aug - 07 Aug '24

Duration: 1 session

Any questions? music@citylit.ac.uk
or call 020 4582 0412

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Centre for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

The Theremin was invented over a hundred years ago by accident as a part of Stalin’s military research programme into creating an on-land ‘sonar’. It’s eerie sound soon captured the public imagination, and it wasn’t long before it was regularly used to accompany sci-fi films. Indeed, an album of theremin music even accompanied Apollo 11 into space. However, because it was so hard to play, it inspired Robert Moog to invent the synthesizer, which all but brought about its demise as a concert instrument. This course will explore its extraordinary history, and that of its inventor, the music and performers who have been associated with it and will offer a crash-course for all attendees on how to play it!

What will we cover?

- The creation of the theremin.
- The history of the theremin, including the life of Leon Theremin.
- Seminal theremin performers and albums.
- How to play the theremin.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Understand the history of the Theremin
- Recognise its key works and performers.
- Play the theremin to a basic level.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

This is a beginners’ course. No prior knowledge is assumed or expected.
You will need to be able to follow written and verbal instructions and take part in class discussion in English, and to take your own notes. All material in French will be accompanied by English translations.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

Tutor presentation, guided listening and watching, class discussion.
Course materials will be shared via Google Classroom, with recommendations to encourage further exploration after the course.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

Please have a pen and notebook to make your own notes during class. You may wish to purchase some of the music books or recordings discussed in class, or attend live performances.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

City Lit offers a wide range of Music history courses. For more information, visit our Guide to the Music history programme.

Karl Lutchmayer

I have spent my professional career balancing performing as a concert pianist with teaching academic music courses. I was formerly a lecturer at the Royal College of Music and Trinity Laban Conservatoire, but have found that I enjoy teaching non-professionals far more, so a great deal of my work over the last three years has been with adult amateurs and the general public. Born to Indian parents (the name is a long story, but I and my forbears are Indian as far as records go back!), I now also spend a few months each year in India working with teachers and advanced students with the aim, ultimately, of opening India's first conservatoire. My research work has largely been in the area of 19th and 20th century performing practice, although for the last three years I have been investigating approaches to performance creativity, first at New College, Oxford, and now at Hughes Hall, Cambridge. In my spare time you may occasionally me performing as a founder member of the prog rock band, The Connoisseur.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.