Wishlist: The Instrument of the Retro-Future, Today - Atlas Obscura
Join us on an Atlas Obscura Trip in 2019 »

Wishlist: The Instrument of the Retro-Future, Today

Make beautiful sci-fi music and lots of other weird noises with your very own theremin.

Get weird with your very own theremin.
Get weird with your very own theremin. Moog

As a ’90s ska song goes, “everybody plays guitar.” So why follow the herd when you can pick up an instrument that many have heard, but relatively few people have ever seen and even fewer have mastered, like the theremin? Luckily, the Moog Theremini is a perfect starter instrument for any aspiring musician who wants to make a little noise that sounds like something from beyond this world—all without actually touching the instrument.

Packed into a sleek retro-futuristic oval, the Moog mini-theremin is a modern evolution of the pioneering early-20th-century electronic instrument best known for adding a buzzing, quivering vibrato to weird sci-fi soundtracks. However, the theremin isn’t just for making space age sounds. Over the century since its invention, the theremin has found a place in all sorts of music, from rock to classical. If you want to get to that level of mastery, tips from theremin master Clara Rockmore are a good place to start.

Whether you aspire to be like Rockmore, or just pull out your theremin to play around with at parties, it will make you far more memorable than the person plucking a guitar.

Moog Theremini
From $299.99, Amazon

Atlas Obscura's Wishlist is an occasional feature about the items we'd most like someone to buy for us right now. Each item is independently selected by our editorial staff. If you buy something through our links, Atlas Obscura may earn an affiliate commission.