Musical Wind Chimes are a peaceful addition to the yard

I grew up in a musical home where everyone played an instrument. Even our backyard had musical wind chimes. A wind chime or two always hung in the trees around our Midwest home.

You may believe musical wind chimes are a thing of the past. Many people still hang bells, bamboo, or glass chimes to create a calming zen feeling in their recreation areas. Wind chimes became even more popular during the pandemic while we were all at home more.

I like the tinkling sound wind chimes make in a gentle breeze. I can still sit on my patio and read, craft, or listen to music with the gentle bell ringing in the background. There are 16 sets of wind chimes spread all around the yard. They range in tone from tiny glass pieces that ring like glasses after a toast to the large bells that only ring like a church bell when a storm is coming.

The Chinese made the first wind chimes of bone, shell, or clay more than 3000 years ago. Musical chimes play a part in Feng Shui’s energy flow in a home.

Modern Musical Wind Chimes in the Market

You can still purchase wind chimes constructed of traditional materials like shells, bamboo, and glass. They are available in most garden shops and souvenir stores on vacation. I once bought a chime set of old silverware pieces at a local art show. You could even build a wind chime set from sea glass or shells you’ve collected at the beach. Wind chimes are easy to make and an excellent craft for kids.

Wind chimes with customized wind catcher.
A custom engraved butterfly on the wind catcher personalizes the gift.

I am enchanted by “tuned” musical wind chimes and specifically by the brand Woodstock. I bought my first set of “Amazing Grace” musically tuned hanging bells in the 1980s. Tuned wind chimes are metal pipes that are measured and cut to ring on a specific musical scale when stirred by the wind. They are exact and also more expensive than standard wind chimes.

Youtube features several videos demonstrating how to make your own tuned bells. The iPhone and Android app stores host tuning apps to help you match the musical tones. I use the Tuner-Pitched app for my guitar and piano, but that app would also work for creating wind chimes.

Homemade Musical Wind Chimes

This bottle started as a wine or liquor bottle. Now it is a patriotic wind chime.

Wind chimes can be made of almost anything. It’s a wonderful way to utilize objects collected during trips.

Even wine bottles will make beautiful wind chimes quickly with a few accessories. Kids love utilizing imagination once the bottle is cut, and the end result is a perfect hostess gift.

I love giving wind chimes to friends for new homes, birthdays, weddings, and even memorials. My friends respond to the personal element. I hand pick the sound and the decorations. They usually remind me of shared memories.

Easy Musical Gifts for Everyone

I recently bought wind chimes that play the Anniversary Waltz for a wedding gift and had the date engraved on the wind catcher with the name of the Bride and Groom. There will not be two of those on the gift table.

bottle wind chimes
Beautiful glass bottles in mixed colors are transformed into a backyard wind chime in under an hour.

Wind chimes come in all shapes and sizes. It is easy to find something for everyone. I own a set made from cowbells. The sound is not relaxing at all. Thankfully they only ring when stiff winds blow. But they instantly take me back to a tour of the North Carolina cheese trail tour I took with my sister. Oddly the cheese trail was mostly farms with goat cheese, but the bells remind me of that time.

You can see some of my all-time favorite wind chime bells here.

With pipe wind chimes the rule is “the longer the pipe the deeper the sound”. You expect a light, bright ring on the Tinkerbell chimes purchased on a trip to Disney World and they do have a fairy-like musicality. The longest pipe on that chime is only six inches.

A small wind chime set can be inexpensive. As they get larger the price tag goes up. Tuned and musical chimes may cost as little as $25 but can depend on size and metal can go for $200 to $300.

Musician Crafted Wind Chimes

I mentioned the Woodstock Chimes above because this company, founded by Garry Kvistad, a trained percussionist, is probably the most famous chime company today. All wind chimes add a mystical ambiance or Zen to the garden. But Woodstock takes this a step further with their tuned and balanced chimes.

Virtual Musical Wind Chimes

Amazon Echo and Google Home portals now include ambient wind chime sounds on demand. If you can’t see a place to hang wind chimes at home, these are great alternatives. It’s as easy as saying “Alexa, play wind chime sounds” or specifically calling on Gregorian, Amazing Grace, or Magical Mystery themes. You can also request music for meditation, yoga, massage, or daydreaming.

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