1 Universidad Politécnica de Valencia (SPAIN)
2 University of Applied Sciences, Department of Electrical Engineering, Dresden (GERMANY)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2010 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Pages: 1194-1199
ISBN: 978-84-613-5538-9
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-10 March, 2010
Location: Valencia, Spain
The paper presents how to make music in an automated way using digital signal processing applied to a musical instrument, in this case a “Theremin”. This instrument is one of the earliest electronic musical instruments. It is named after the Russian physics Professor Leon Theremin and was invented in 1919. This music instrument belongs to a very short list of devices which are played without touching them. That is the fascination and the special feature of this device. It uses two antennas, one for the frequency or pitch control and one for the volume or dynamic control of the musical note produced. The musician could change both parameters by moving his/her hands around the antennas. In this case, the electromagnetic field around the antennas will be changed and be recognized by the build in hardware immediately.

Typical concepts to be learn in the syllabus “Circuit Theory” like inductances, resistors, capacitors and their use in different electronics circuits as oscillator, mixers, amplifier, etc, and the analyse of much more complicate concepts like electromagnetic fields, feedback and stability characteristics, etc, will be explained, demonstrated and tested in classroom using a Theremin. But at the same time, and trying to improve the knowledge and students’ capabilities and to maintain higher as possible their attention and interest in our syllabus, it is analysed several digital signal processing algorithms and techniques (all of them implemented in MATLAB by students coming from the Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft Dresden (FH), University of Applied Sciences Dresden, in cooperation with the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia) which do possible to controlling two robot arms that acts like a music Theremin player. Here the concept “musical hyper instruments” is explained to the students as a research line of enhancing the capabilities and performances of conventional musical instruments. Also, the results of that learning experience have been showed and explained to high school students visiting our centre, in order to motivate them about electronic and telecommunication career and contribute in their professional orientation.
Digital Signal Processing, Theremin, Electronic Musical Instruments, Circuit Theory, Musical Hyper Instruments.