The Guinness Book of Records recognized Saturday that 272 theremin players in Hamamatsu, ShizuokaPrefecture, are the biggest ensemble of the kind, in the world.
The theremin was invented and patented by Russian physicist Leon Theremin in the 1920s and is an electronic instrument controlled by a player without physical . It has an antenna that senses the position of the player, controlling oscillators for the frequency of sounds it makes.
The Hamamatsu event, featuring the “Matryomin” instrument shaped like a Russian Matryoshka doll, was attended by a Guinness official. The representative declared on the spot that the new world record had been set, Kyodo reports.
The ensemble included students of Masami Takeuchi, president of Mandarin Electron Co., the manufacturer of the Matryomin. The played “Amazing Grace” on the 20-cm high instrument.
The theremin is one of the world’s most unusual instruments. The sound of the theremin is most familiar from Hitchcock and science fiction soundtracks, and a version features on “Good Vibrations” by The Beach Boys.
The original instrument was tried out by the Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin in 1922 when he had an audience with Leon Theremin.