The greatest advantage of metal wind chimes is that they can be tuned to specific notes, allowing their designers to recreate classic melodies or imitate the sounds of cathedral or clock tower bells. Metal's exceptional durability is also ideal for an instrument that's daily exposed to the elements.
The most commonly used metals include:
- Aluminum: by far the most popular material due to the clarity, volume, and duration of its chimes, as well as its superb durability and weather resistance.
- Steel: which is often recycled into affordable and durable bell-style chimes.
- Brass: a metal whose inimitable sound gives gongs and feng shui chimes their richly evocative power.
- Copper: a beautiful metal that offers the rustic appeal of antiqued finishes or natural patinas.
Though less durable than metal, bamboo wind chimes emit a quieter, fountain-like clacking sound that makes a beautiful accompaniment to water features and Zen gardens. Our selection includes Woodstock bamboo chimes that are hand-carved and hand-tuned by Asian craftsmen.
Glass is used to create colorful and intricately decorative chimes that create beauty from both sunlight and breezes. Less resonant than other materials, glass produces a lighter and quieter tinkling that won't overwhelm conversations (or wake you up from naps).
Our shell chimes are constructed from capiz, a flat, pearlescent decorative shell derived from mollusks in the Philippines. These shaped and dyed shells create a delicate tinkling sound reminiscent of rippling water.
Many of our wind chimes feature audio and video previews beneath the pictures on their individual product pages. Here's a brief summary of what each type has to offer.
A chime's size is usually a good indication of its sound. Longer tubes produce a lower and fuller sound (our site measurements are from hook to sail, not tube length). Tenor and bass chimes are thus large chimes with low tones. They offer deep, sustained sound that's very relaxing, and sometimes suggestive of cathedral or sacred music.
Our mezzo and alto chimes are mid-range to large in size, and often have more tubes than other designs, providing a greater number of notes and a broader range of harmonies. Listeners tend to find them cheering and uplifting, with sounds that are serene or even mystical in quality.
These designs have shorter and narrower tubes, and produce a light and charming sound, with a range of notes from middle C to high A.
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In addition to tubular and bell designs, our selection includes these enchanting indoor and outdoor options:
- Decorative: Animal-themed and whimsical decorative chimes make a lovely visual and sonic addition to porches, patios, and gardens.
- Celebration and memorial: These tuned chimes are excellent gifts for weddings, anniversaries, and other occasions, and some include the option of personalized engraving on the wind sail.
- Feng shui and gongs: These Asian-inspired designs are perfect for garden or desktop, and include water fountains with floating bells.