Those who enjoy electronic music today may have little idea about its ancestor, whose key proponent is honoured in the latest Google doodle.

Clara Rockmore, born 105 years ago on 9 March, was a master of the first ever electronic instrument known as the theremin.

To mark the event, Google's doodle allows you to learn this unusual instrument which was the first one that could be played without being touched.

The theremin was the forerunner to the synthesiser and was what Clara played as a soloist with the New York Philharmonic and Philadelphia Orchestra.

Born Clara Reisenberg in Lithuania in 1911, she joined the Imperial Conservatory of St Petersburg aged five but switched from the violin to the strange instrument after a meeting with its inventor, Leon Theremin, who was considered to be the "Russian Thomas Edison".

She loved its design and mystery, once saying that she was fascinated by the idea of "playing in the air", according to her foundation's website.

The theremin inspired Robert Moog who created the first voltage-controlled synthesiser which was used by bands as diverse as the Doors, the Byrds and the Rolling Stones.

The synthesiser was also used in countless film soundtracks, with its haunting strains also used in TV programmes such as Midsomer Murders.

The synthesiser was then co-opted by other artists such as Vangelis and Brian Eno in the 1970s, the forerunners of many forms of electronic music today.

The Google doodle allows you to hover your mouse to create your own melody and pay your own tribute to the instrument that influenced music forever.