Musical Science

Music students at the High School and Robert Frost Middle School recently participated in an interesting musician-in-residence program that left them in awe. Musician Rob Schwimmer performed on a Theremin, a small, box-shaped electronic musical instrument controlled without discernible physical contact from the player.

Mr. Schwimmer taught students how to manipulate melodies using this unique musical instrument. They watched and listened as the musician methodically moved his hands between the two metal antennae without making physical contact with the instrument. As Mr. Schwimmer played, he explained that he creates music using the antennae; one determines the frequency, while the other controls the amplitude. Students were interested in learning the science behind the Theremin and took turns playing on the instrument themselves, experimenting with sounds.

Theremins are also used in concert music (especially avant-garde and 20th- and 21st-century new music) and in popular music genres, including rock.