When Lucie Bigelow Rosen, wife of the New York banker, Walter T. Rosen '94, faces a small, compact box in the courtyard of the Fogg Art Museum tonight at 8.30 o'clock, her audience will hear strains of Debussy and Bach apparently materializing from thin air.
Some may notice that this tall and impressive woman is making curious gestures with her hands. A closer inspection may give one the suspicion that she is forcibly drawing music out of the box. Possibly Mrs. Rosen may be some fairy queen, reminiscent of the days of Arthur.
The scientific mind will know, however, that Mrs. Rosen is only an ordinary human being; that she is playing an electrically controlled instrument called the theremin; and that only a few weeks ago she was performing in the Town Hall in New York City.
The theremin has two knobs on the player's side and a sloping top. Projecting vertically from the right is a single metal rod while horizontally from the left is a curved bar. When the hand moves between these two bars, serving as antennae, the constants governing the flow of current causing this field are changed.
There are three main oscillating circuits in this instrument produced by ordinary vacuum tube methods. Two of the circuits, one superimposed on the other, cause oscillations of audio-frequency which can be heard through a loudspeaker. The remaining oscillatory circuit controls the volume.
Mrs. Rosen will play selections by Bach, Debussy, Wieniawski, Gluck-Kreisler and Tivadar Nachez. She will be assisted on the piano by Amelia Tataronis, soprano, Frank Chatterton, and Gudrun Hatch Howe.