Wind chimes are often called wind bells, and they are chance-musical instruments. This means that nobody is playing them except the pure force of luck. Wind chimes are made that way so that they sound very melodic, and in some cultures, it's believed that it's like that because wind and good spirits are the ones making the sounds.
There are many different techniques and styles when it comes to the creation of wind chimes. However, the most important is undoubtedly the materials used for manufacturing.
In this article, you will find out what are wind chimes made of.
Traditional Manufacturing and History
Archeologists, anthropologists and other scientists interested in history believe that the earliest models of wind chimes were made out of bamboo. Bamboo was used approximately starting from 3000 B.C. until to an undefined point in time.
Soon thereafter, many researchers have discovered that certain civilizations, such as the Egyptians, started using metal, which they have learned and mastered how to cast and turn into different usable shapes. This was the next step in the evolution of the wind chimes, and it's thought to have happened around 1800 B.C.
A little while after that, civilizations living in Asia also learned how to cast metal and have also started using metal, mainly bronze. Around 1200 B.C., the Asian people have started further changing the properties of the wind chimes and adding different changes to the sound and the look of it all. Thus, the alternative wind bells were born, called Feng-Ling. However, they were never as popular as the wind chimes, and are almost gone in the modern day.
Around that same period, most people all over Asia were dedicated to the practice and belief of Buddhism. They have made the wind chimes extremely popular and are credited for its fame all over the world, as Buddhism was spreading quite quickly as well.
They believed wind chimes were attracting good spirits and making the bad ones go away. For that reason, you can see many of these instruments hung around the temples and pagodas.
What Are Wind Chimes Made Of?
The first examples of wind chimes have been found in Asia, dating around 3000 B.C. These proto-designs were a bit different than the modern ones, albeit the core principles stayed the same.
At first, wind chimes were used for their supernatural properties, and for respecting religious beliefs and some other ancient arts, such as Feng Shui. Nowadays, they are mostly utilized as decorations, although some of the old traditional uses still persist in some areas of the world.
When it comes to the materials that wind chimes are made out of, there are two things to think about: the strings, and the pipes.
In the past, wind chime strings were made out of different materials. Basically, humans used whatever they could get their hands on, that could do the job of holding the pipes in the appropriate position.
At first, the fragile wood bark pieces were used, which were later replaced with pieces of papyrus tied up together. Later on, ancient civilizations figured how to make thin rope, which had more endurance and was better suited for supporting the pipes.
Many other materials were tried and tested as time went on. Currently, nylon is the standardized one, and 90% of the wind chime strings are made out of it, or at least the commercial ones. Those being handcrafted in distant places of the world, where making wind chimes is a form of art, are being created out of various other materials, even feathers.
The base where the pipes are hanged from is mostly made out of wood, metal, or different hard material. This doesn't matter at all when considering the wind chimes, so you shouldn't worry about it when purchasing.
The actual pipes were at first made out of wood, more precisely bamboo. Later on, using aluminum and some of its variations has become the industry standard. However, there are still wind chimes being made out of wood, and they sound unique and pleasant, although they are a bit quieter than the metal ones.
The most expensive models of wind chimes are surprisingly made out of wood. Although the metal ones are more common and widespread, the high-quality wooden ones require a real master of the art to create them, and they are one of a kind. In fact, they are even quite highly regarded as pieces of art.
Wind chimes have been among us ever since people become intelligent beings. They have gone through many evolutions, and the modern ones are entirely different than the ones that came first.
If you were wondering what are wind chimes made of, you now know that many different materials were used, and still are being used. Those include wood, nylon, metal, aluminum, and even papyrus.