The Tannerin, built by
Tom Polk, is an electronic instrument named after Paul Tanner, who
originated its use in the 1950s. Dr. Tanner's instrument was formerly
called an electro-theremin. The
Tannerin produces a pure sine wave, variable over three or four
octaves. It is played by sliding a knob along the length of the
instrument, starting and stopping the tone with a contact switch
located on the pitch knob and operated by one's forefinger.
Tannerin has fixed reference points on a dummy keyboard so the musician
knows exactly where notes can be found.
An electro-theremin created the spacy sound on the Beach Boys classic
Good Vibrations. Tom Polk built a special Tannerin for Brian
Wilson to use on his 1999-2000 tour.
For more information on the Tannerin, visit Tom
Polk's Tannerin site
here to listen to a sample
of the Tannerin playing the Good Vibrations lick.