Pitch control is challenging because, unlike most musical instruments, the theremin generates tones of any pitch throughout its entire range, including those that lie between the conventional notes. While some other instruments share this feature, particularly the stringed instruments, those instruments use several (typically four) separate strings to express the instrument's full range of pitches, and positions on the fingerboard corresponding to specific notes become familiar to performers. In the case of the theremin, the entire range of pitches is controlled by the distance of the performer's hand to the pitch antenna in mid-air, and over relatively short range of distances. Very precise control of hand position coupled with an excellent sense of pitch is required.
Kép:Carolina Eyck Portrait.jpg| thumb|200px| left|Carolina Eyck<br />Thereminist]]
Also, the theremin's continuous range of pitches lends itself to [[glissando]] playing, which is often inappropriate to the piece being performed. Skilled performers, through rapid and exact hand movements, minimize undesired portamento and glissando to play individual notes and can even achieve [[staccato]] effects. Small and rapid movements of the hands can create [[tremolo]] or [[vibrato]] effects.
=== In popular music ===
Kép:Moog Theremin Bausatz.jpg| thumb|A modern [[Moog Music|Moog]] theremin]]
Theremin sounds have been incorporated into many [[popular music]] songs from the 1960s through the present.