Death by theremin in Midsomer County

I'm a big fan of Midsomer Murders, a TV series made by the BBC ITV (thanks Robert for the correction).  Midsomer Murders is full of quirky characters doing the most bizarre things in some of the most picturesque English villages you'll ever see.   Think seriously unhinged Agatha Christie and you've got the right idea.

It also has some distinctive theme music.

What I didn't realize until today is that the theme music is played on a theremin.

What is a theremin, I hear you scream?  It was the world's first electronic musical instrument, invented by a Russian physicist in the 1920s.  It consists of two aerials at right angles to each other.  Put your hand close to one aerial and it raises the pitch.  Putting your hand close to the other raises the volume.  Moving your hands inside the two electromagnetic fields creates music.

So here is Celia Sheen, Britain's foremost classical thereminist, who is in fact the musician you hear in every Midsomer Murder.  I know it looks like she's waving her hands in mid-air, but she really is playing the theremin.


Joseph Frankmor said...

Y'know I just spent a couple hours watching random people playing the theremin on youtube because of this. Fascinating little instrument.

KayC said...

The theremin has a similar sound to the saw being played, which I love. No wonder I've always enjoyed the opening music for Midsomer Murders.

I'm not sure which looks weirder though - a woman waving her hands in the air, or a guy sitting with a saw between his legs holding a violin bow!

Gary Corby said...

Personally I'd opt for the theremin, Kay. An accident with the saw doesn't bear thinking about.