Essay on Wind Chimes

Essay on Wind Chimes

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Wind Chimes


     Wind chimes produce clear, pure tones when struck by a mallet or
suspended clapper. A wind chime usually consists of a set of individual alloy
rods, tuned by length to a series of intervals considered pleasant. These are
suspended from a devised frame in such a way that a centrally suspended clapper
can reach and impact all the rods. When the wind blows, the clapper is set in
motion and randomly strikes one or more of the suspended rods-- causing the rod
to vibrate and emit a tone.
     The pitch of said tone is governed by the length of the rod, but the
perceived loudness is affected by many determinants: the force of the clappers
impact, the alloy's density and structure, and the speed and direction of the
wind (to name a few). Also affecting the loudness is the lack of resonating
chamber or hard connection between rods and frame. The chime would certainly be
louder, for instance, if the rods were built with the inclusion of small
chambers containing a volume of air whose fundamental harmonic was the same as
that of the rod-- when struck, the rod would transfer vibration to the enclosed
air as well as directly to the atmosphere, resulting in a louder tone. A hard
connection between rods and frame would also accomplish this result somewhat;
the vibrations of each seperate rod would be commuted to the others, resulting
in more vibrating surface area (and hence, more volume).
     Th...

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