10 Female Electronic Music Pioneers You Should Know

Clara Rockmore

There’s an argument to be made that the theremin remains the most gloriously sci-fi musical instrument that anyone’s ever devised, and few people played it better than Clara Rockmore. Rockmore was a violin prodigy in her youth, and discovered Leon Theremin’s remarkable new instrument in the 1920s when he arrived with it from Russia. The timing was perfect — Rockmore had been forced to abandon the violin because of an arthritic condition in her elbow — and she became its foremost exponent, collaborating with Theremin himself to refine the instrument’s design and creating techniques that are still used today.