Invented in Russia between 1919 and 1920, the theremin is one of the first instruments to generate sound using electric current, marking the beginning of the era of electronic music. A unique aspect of this instrument is that it is played without any physical contact with the musician.
The theremin is composed of a two antennas stemming from a box. The musician’s hands move towards and away from these antennae, thus varying the note’s frequency and the volume. Below, an explanation and demonstration by the instrument’s inventor, Leon Theremin: