Leon Theremin Also Made A Rhythm Machine

Rhythmicon from 1931      16/03/18

Leon Theremin is of course known for his Theremin - the musical instrument control by the position of the operators hands - one for amplitude and one for pitch - its notoriously difficult to play well - although the Moog Theremini offers the option to quantize the scale.

Hands up who knew that Mr Theremin also made a Rhythmicon - a kind of rhythm generator?

According to Wikipedia:

The invention, completed by Theremin in 1931, can produce up to sixteen different rhythms—a periodic base rhythm on a selected fundamental pitch and fifteen progressively more rapid rhythms, each associated with one of the ascending notes of the fundamental pitch's overtone series. Like the overtone series itself, the rhythms follow an arithmetic progression, so that for every single beat of the fundamental, the first overtone (if played) beats twice, the second overtone beats three times, and so forth. Using the device's keyboard, each of the sixteen rhythms can be produced individually or in any combination. A seventeenth key permits optional syncopation.

 

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