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  • Stephanie Raby

There's Music in the Air

There is music in the air.... literally. One of the first things you are bound to notice when walking by or coming into our shop is the incredibly large windchime that is hanging from the tree in front of our store. Even if you don't see it straight away, you can certainly hear it! Despite being a basso profundo in pitch (i.e. very low!), with a total length of 168", tube diameter of 5", and a weight of 200lbs, it's hard not to demand a little attention! In fact, it has garnered enough that it has made it into the Guinness Book of World Records as the worlds largest tuned windchime!

This chime, made by Music of the Spheres, is just one example of many which we sell in our store. Each chime is tuned individually to different musical scales. Some may be scales which we in the west are quite familiar with while others are more 'exotic' using notes evocative of Chinese or Japanese music and even the bells of Westminster.

The idea of 'music of the spheres' or musica universalis, is an old (philisophical) concept dating back to Pythagoras and music from the 13-15th Centuries. It was the thinking that the movement and relation of the heavenly bodies to one another created celestial music of similar proportions or ratios to that of a plucked string and certain sororities which were pleasing to the ear as well as mathematically.

According to an article released by Paul Caulter in 1998 "To them [Pythagoreans], the solar system consisted of ten spheres revolving in circles about a central fire, each sphere giving off a sound the way a projectile makes a sound as it swished through the air; the closer spheres gave lower tones while the farther moved faster and gave higher pitched sounds. All combined into a beautiful harmony, the music of the spheres."

The wonderful thing about the music of the spheres chimes is that they are basically individually customized for you. Whatever music that is pleasing to you - high or low, exotic or not - you chose! We hope you will enjoy listening to our big chime, but also get enjoyment from one of your own!

'There is geometry in the humming of the strings ... there is music in the spacing of the spheres.'

- Pythagoras

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