Léon Theremin's Contributions To Music And Society

1569 words - 6 pages

To start, Léon Theremin, originally known as, Lev Sergeyevich Termen, was a very influential Russian inventor throughout human history. He is most popular for his invention of the Theremin, one of the very first electronic musical instruments ever made. In addition, Léon Theremin is the inventor of a plethora of other inventions, some including the burglar alarm, the Great Seal bug, and the Terpsitone. There are innumerable interesting things that can be said about this innovative person. Without him, society wouldn’t experience, or enjoy the things we have, the same. This research will discuss Léon Theremin’s biography, his contributions to music, and his countless inventions that benefited, and improved society on a global scale.

First, Léon Theremin, originally born with the name, Lev Sergeivitch Termen, was born on the year, 1896, in St. Petersburg, Russia. He was of German and French ancestry and had a sibling by the name of Helena. When he became seven years old, he took an interest in electricity. By the age of thirteen, Theremin began to observe and test high frequency circuits. Later on, within his years in high school, he was able to present to an audience optical effects using electricity, and by the age of seventeen, he had his own laboratory to continue his electrical experiments. It was very clear that the young, Léon Theremin, had a brilliant mind. As he grew older, he was “educated as a physicist and musician,” (Léon Theremin) and later began to develop what is known today as the theremin. After the creation of this notable instrument, the theremin, he “demonstrated his theremin to the Soviet revolutionary leader, Lenin,” in 1922. From there, he was sent on a tour, which included “sell-out concerts,” (Léon Theremin) in places like Berlin, Paris, New York and London. Later, Léon Theremin established a studio in the city of New York and lived there from 1927 to 1938. After, He then “ordered” (Theremin), to return to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, (or U.S.S.R. for short), and in turn was “sent to a Siberian labor camp during the Great Purge, carried out by the Soviet leader, Stalin, against real and imagined enemies” (Léon Theremin). When World War Two was in progress, Léon Theremin was working in a military laboratory “producing a radio-controlled aircraft, tracking systems for ships and submarines, and television systems which are still in use” (Léon Theremin) today. Léon Theremin, however, “received the Stalin Prize, First Class, and was allowed to live in Moscow” (Léon Theremin) after he invented a minuscule listening device or “bug” for Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti (or KGB for short). With the “bug,” (Léon Theremin) Lavrentiy Beria, head of the secret police organization, was able to spy on the United States, British, and French embassies in Moscow. Later, Theremin invented another listening device called, The Thing. It was a disguised duplicate of the Great Seal of the United States, sculpted in wood....

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