My wife is turning 50 next month and, as is the tradition, I was thinking I'd buy her a Theremin. Is this a good gift for my wife? You know my wife, right?
Ever since we saw this documentary
together, my wife has wanted a Theremin. We have a pretty decent collection of both common and weird instruments (piano, guitars, flutes, ukuleles, banjo, musical saws, a Laotian Khene, etc) and I think a Theremin would be a nice addition.
However, I'm concerned that for a casual, non-performing musician, a Theremin might be little more than a novelty that one would get bored of quickly. She’d be playing this at home, in her limited free time, mostly solo unless I accompanied her on guitar, ukulele or banjo in which case she’d be limited to playing along to the first 1/3 of Stairway to Heaven or a couple of Beatles songs.
So of course you don’t know my wife and you can’t say whether or not she’d use a Theremin, but I’m hoping all you closeted Mefi Theremin players can help me
Concerns and questions:
Other than the wankfest in the middle of Whole Lotta Love
and that one Beach Boys song*, are these things actually useful as instruments?
She's not into the rock and/or the roll. She'd hate Radiohead, which seems like the sort of band that might incorporate a Theremin. Are there non-rock bands using these things?
She likes making music, not noise, though she does enjoy “weird” music as long as it's pleasing to the ear. Can one actually play melodies on these things?
Her main "instrument" is her voice. She's a classically-trained singer and has performed with a world-class chorus. Can one manipulate a Theremin the way one would manipulate their voice? She's into all the little nuances.
She has a very good ear, very good relative pitch, and can make music on just about anything. Are these things really hard to learn? Are they frustrating for a beginner?
Is everything that comes out of it going to sound like we’re waiting in line for Space Mountain or is there more control over the tone?
We already have an amplifier, so I'd just be buying the Theremin. I don't have time to build a kit so I'd probably buy the lower-end Moog on-line somewhere.
So, Theremin or do I just go buy her a tenor ukulele, which she also expressed interest in?
*yeah, I know it's probably not a Theremin.