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Saturday, 2 March 2019

Clara Rockmore’s 108th Birthday

Clara Rockmore’s 108th Birthday: Trained from a young age as a violinist, Rockmore ultimately gave up the violin due to physical strain. This led her to discover the theremin, a gesture-controlled instrument named after its inventor, Leon Theremin, and the world's first electronic musical instrument.

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Google today celebrated the 105th birthday of Lithuanian theremin virtuoso performer, Clara Rockmore, by posting an interactive musical doodle on its homepage.

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Trained from a young age as a violinist, Rockmore ultimately gave up the violin due to physical strain. This led her to discover the theremin, a gesture-controlled instrument named after its inventor, Leon Theremin, and the world's first electronic musical instrument.

The instrument's controlling section usually consists of two metal antennas that sense the relative position of the thereminist's hands and control oscillators for frequency with one hand and amplitude (volume) with the other. The electric signals from the theremin are amplified and sent to a loudspeaker.

Not only did Rockmore become the instrument's most well-known performer, but she also influenced its development.

The instrument has been an inspiration to bands like The Beach Boys, Rolling Stones, and Led Zeppelin.

Today's interactive Google Doodle was created by artist Robinson Wood, interaction designer Kevin Burke, and engineers Will Knowles and Kris Hom (with support from the larger Doodle engineering team).
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