Nature’s Popular Melody

Published in The Review (Daily Dawn) on June 1, 2006 – Original Link

Whether one is a feng shui believer or collector of exquisite decorative items or simply a music lover, wind chimes are a popular accessory in the house, writes Ayesha Hoda

The melody composed by Mother Nature is perhaps the best of all musical pieces, and a wind chime is an instrument with which this natural music reaches the hearts of the listeners. The origin of wind chimes is attributed to the philosophy of feng shui. It propagates the importance of sounds, colours and smells in one’s daily life. In olden days they were used mostly by Buddhist monks, who would place them in temples and shrines. Eventually, however, wind chimes made their way into Japanese and Chinese households. Soon they came to be regarded as decorative pieces in South Asia, too.

Even though they have a long history and have always been in use, the popularity of these musical-cum-decorative items has reached unprecedented heights in recent times. They are hanging in quite a few homes here. Wind chimes, of different costs and varieties, are available in gift shops, where they figure among the most sought after accessories. Although traditionally bamboo was the only material used for manufacturing wind chimes, today any material that echoes the sound of wind is used in their production. As a result a large variety of wind chimes made of wood, aluminum pipes, crystal glass, solid brass etc. are available in the market.

With the growing demand of wind chimes, manufacturers are also experimenting with colours and decoration. Not only do the colours range from earthly tones to bright, shiny hues, different objects such as metal bells, ceramic birds, angels and gold pipes are used to embellish these wind chimes. With intricate filigree or exquisite etching, they are sold as works of art.

With wind chimes, one is not just pleased visually -–– the soothing sounds made by the colliding pipes of wind chimes create beautiful music. The soft tinkling sound that one hears while entering the house after a tedious day has an extremely calming effect. The simplicity of the sound makes one conscious of the connection that a human being enjoys with Mother Nature –– something which is very easily forgotten in the hassles of day-to-day living. Wind chimes can be placed in gardens, bedrooms, verandahs and terraces of houses; by a feng shui believer or a collector of exquisite decorative items or simply a music lover.