Purveyor of geek-friendly toys and gadgets ThinkGeek is now offering the Theremin Mini Kit, a miniature assemble-it-yourself theremin which is marketed toward those looking to get started with the instrument.

For the uninitiated, the theremin is an unusual instrument which comes with an equally-odd back story involving a Russian inventor who toured the U.S. and ended up in one of Stalin’s gulag camps.

To make music, the player waves their hand around an antenna protruding from the theremin. Electro-magnetic waves are generated in a zone around this antenna, and when they are interrupted by the introduction of a hand, the frequency of the waves is altered, changing the audible tone of the instrument as a result. In this way, by moving a hand around, one hopefully creates strange and beautiful music in the process.

Many theremins also employ a second antenna which controls volume and works in the same way, but budget models like the Theremin Mini Kit usually forgo this.

The Theremin Mini Kit is reported to be easy to assemble, and the process should take less than an hour if you know how to use a screwdriver. The device ships with Japanese instructions, but an English manual is available online.

The miniature music-making machine measures roughly 3.15 x 3.15 x 4.72 inches (80 x 80 x 120 mm) and is powered by four AA batteries. Though it comes with a built-in speaker and two volume levels, it appears there’s no headphone jack, so fingers crossed that your family and friends are the understanding type.

The Theremin Mini Kit will set you back US$39.99.

Take a look at the video below to see it in action.

Product page: ThinkGeek