The use of wind chimes in the past was not only for decoration and spiritual well being of mind and body. Wind chimes were used to detect the direction of the wind. Chimes would be hung on all sides of a house or structure to aid in weather forecasting. People that lived in a certain region began to equate wind direction and speed with the upcoming weather. The sound of the chimes could also help approximate the speed of the wind, thus giving sailors, farmers and other people a guide to weather forecasting.
They can be made in many different sizes and shapes, and of many materials. Wood, bamboo, different metals, plastic, glass, sea shells, gourds, ceramics, and stones have all been used. Each material gives a different sound, the size of the material determines pitch. Most are not tuned, thus the tones produced are random pitches. Pitch can be controlled by length and size of materials. Some of the more expensive wind chimes are tuned.
Wind chimes are not only enjoyed for their sound, but they also have visual appeal. They can be hung outside the house or inside. Feng Shui uses them in many ways to restore balance and harmony in the home and garden. There are guidelines within Feng Shui as to placement, size, number of hanging items on the chime, and material the chime is made from. But it is not necessary to follow any guidelines to enjoy wind chimes. Put them where they will please you the most, in the size you like, made out the materials you like.