1938 Rosen January Theremin

1938 Rosen January Theremin

Who Commissioned This Instrument?

Lucie and Walter Rosen

Who Owned This Instrument?

Lucie Rosen

Where is This Instrument Now?

The location of this theremin is unknown, but should be in the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts. In Lucie's Theremin Notebook, on a page relating to the January Theremin, there is a note in Lucie's handwriting that says obsolete gone.

What Do We Know About This Instrument?

Five octave range with slightly higher upper register (implication being that more of the extended range was at the low end), tone color switch (not reported but a given, in that Lev had already added this to her RCA theremin, giving it two tone settings. The January Theremin probably had more tone switch positions).

Why is it Special?

This theremin would have been state of the art at the time it was made, and very comparable to the 1938 Rockmore Theremin. The January Theremin may also be the first theremin with a pitch indicator (in this case, a neon lamp).

A Drawing of the 1938 Rosen January Theremin

Image courtesy of Caramoor Center of Music and the Arts

A preliminary drawing for the design of the January Theremin found in the archives of Lucie Rosen at Caramoor.

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Photos courtesy of Caramoor Center of Music and the Arts