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Copper Wind Chimes: History and How to Make Your Own

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Copper wind chimes have been in use for thousands of years, used for both spiritual protection and simple listening enjoyment. Wind chimes made of copper hold up to the test of time due to the durable nature of the common and inexpensive metal. Producing a calming, melodic sound, copper wind chimes are a common household decoration.

Copper wind chimes are believed to have started in the Eastern hemisphere in late prehistoric times and have since spread globally. Though the use of wind chimes has changed over the years, they are still commercially available and can be purchased or easily made with easily obtainable modern-day materials.

Copper Wind Chimes are a Common Yard Ornament

Copper is a soft metal, typically orange or reddish in color, often used to make wind chimes. Wind chimes made of copper are a popular garden decoration because they are affordable and durable. Copper wind chimes provide years of entertainment and come in many variations and sizes, ranging in price from a few to a few hundred dollars.

Though there are more expensive copper wind chimes that are made of finer materials and typically have larger tubes, you can get good quality wind chimes for cheaper by making them yourself or buying them used. Copper wind chimes are commonly sold and purchased in the spring and summer seasons.

Wind chimes are percussion instruments that use wind to produce sound. They are made of tubes, rods, or bells suspended around a center weight. People generally place their copper wind chimes outdoors, near patios or windows so they can be easily heard. Copper wind chimes are capable of producing simple melodies and chords.

Copper wind chimes form chance, or Aleatory, music. This is music produced by randomized note selection. In this case, the wind is choosing the notes that are produced. The music produced from copper wind chimes is soothing and can be used for relaxation, causing them to be a popular choice amongst consumers.

Early Use of Copper Wind Chimes

Copper, along with gold, is one of the oldest metals known to be used by man. It is relatively cheap and plentiful. People have been using copper to build and decorate things for thousands of years because it is affordable and easy to come by. 

Copper wind chimes date back all the way to 1100 BC, when the Romans and Chinese used them in their gardens, courtyards, and porches. Both the Romans and Chinese used copper and bronze in their wind chimes and believed that the chimes would ward evil or malicious spirits.

Today, most people use wind chimes for relaxation and ambiance. The noise produced by copper wind chimes is soothing and melodic. They can be used during meditation or just to listen to and relax.

How Copper Wind Chimes Create Randomized Music

Copper is often used for wind chimes because of the sonorous properties of the metal. Sonority is the property of the copper metal that allows it to produce sound when struck. People have been making and using wind chimes for so long because of the beautifully warm and calming noises the tubes and bells produce.

Though multiple tunings can be easily produced, pentatonic copper wind chimes are the most widely available. They are created when the copper tubing is cut to specific lengths to produce a pentatonic or five-note scale. Cut to produce the notes C, D, E, G, and A; the copper tubes create simple melodies when disturbed by the wind.

Generally, the longer and wider the tubes on a copper wind chime, the lower and deeper the tone. If you’d like a higher-pitched sound, you will want to purchase or make a wind chime with shorter, thinner tubes.

Wind Chimes Made of Copper are Durable and Weather Resistant

Wind chimes made of metal, such as copper, are more durable than wood, glass, or shells. Copper holds up better to wind and rain over time than some of the softer, more porous materials that are commonly used to make wind chimes.

Copper contains little to no iron and doesn’t develop rust. It instead develops a green cast known as a patina, which protects the metal from further corrosion and decay. Copper has been used for underground pipes and has been known to last 50-70 years in that environment, so you know it holds up to moisture and wear. 

Some wind chimes use twine or waxed string, or fishing line for longer-lasting suspension. The clapper, or center weight, and wind blade are commonly made of finished wood, stone, or glass for lasting durability. 

Though a copper wind chime is more durable than other commonly used materials, you should still try to keep them out of the rain and snow as much as possible. A covered porch, patio, or window encasement are great places to hang a copper wind chime to keep it out of the elements and further increase your wind chime’s lifespan.

Where to Buy Copper Wind Chimes

Copper wind chimes can be made or purchased. There are a wide assortment of wind chimes typically available at home improvement stores and big-box stores, such as Walmart in the Spring and Summer seasons. Anywhere that sells garden supplies will generally carry a small assortment of wind chimes.

To be sure you are buying a copper wind chime, check the manufacturer’s tag. Remember, brass and bronze are made with copper. The color should be a dark, orangey gold and may have some green or white tint due to oxidation. Look for good quality materials like treated wood and thicker or water-resistant cabling.

Another great place to buy wind chimes is at garage sales and flea markets. Often you can find really neat, vintage pieces for far cheaper than new. They will be weathered and will probably have already developed a green cast, which some people find charming, adding to their value.

You can buy custom and unique wind chimes on internet shops like Etsy. Often you can decide which size you would like and have a say in other options like beadwork or wood finish. These wind chimes are typically handmade and one of a kind. They can range from cheap to very expensive if being sold as a specialty or ornamental art piece.

Making Copper Wind Chimes is Easy

To make wind chimes, you need a few basic, inexpensive materials. Copper piping, wire or string, wood, and some small hardware are needed for this DIY. The copper tubing will need to be cut to various specific lengths. Each length will produce a different note. You can find charts and directions on the lengths for the sound you want online.

Copper piping can be found and most large home improvement stores. It is easy to cut with a hacksaw. Make sure the blade has fine teeth, so it makes a clean cut. Use clamps or other tools to hold it in place while cutting to your desired length. You can also use an auto-cut tool or tubing cutter to trim copper tubing down to size.

Once cut to the correct length, you will need to drill two holes in the tops of each tube to insert a machine screw and nut. The string or rope will then be tied around this screw so the tube can be suspended from eye hooks in the wind chime’s top. 

There will generally be five tubes hanging from the eye hooks around a center weight and wind blade. The center weight hanging in the middle of the copper tubes is often made of wood and is what the tubes will strike to produce noise. Any kind of wood will work; just remember to seal your wood parts for your wind chimes to last longer. 

Copper Wind Chimes are a Good Addition to Any Patio

Copper wind chimes are affordable and widely available to modern-day consumers. Copper is more durable and weather-resistant than some other commonly used wind chime materials and produces a melodic sound accompanied by a warm tone, which is relaxing and easy on the ears. There are other types of wind chimes, so be sure to check out our article about Koshi wind chimes!

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