The Virtual Museum of Music Inventions Presents:

Trinity School

Columbus, Ohio

Angel Chimes-The Most Versatile Instrument in the World

by Angela Therese, 6th grade, Trinity School, Columbus, Ohio


The "Angel Chimes" instrument is a very versatile musical instrument. It is a percussion instrument in which rods and tubes are struck to make different sounds. It consists of an A-shaped frame from which the rods and tubes are hung. The rods and tubes (or chimes) can be made of various materials, including wood, metal, plastic, glass, or cardboard. They can be different lengths and diameters and can be hollow or solid.

There are an infinite number of possible combinations, with variations in any parameter resulting in changes in the pitch or timbre of the sound. Also, the chimes can be partially or completely wrapped with various materials, such as yam or tape. The tubes can also be partially or completely filled with various substances (cotton, clay, or water) to change their tones.

In addition, the device used to strike the instrument (the "striker" or"hammer") can also vary in material, size, and shape. It can be used to strike the chimes or inserted through the tubes and moved to produce different sounds, such as is done by the clapper of a bell.

The rods and tubes can also be placed next to each other and moved together with various forces to produce sounds, such as occurs when wind blows through wind chimes.

The chimes can be activated manually or with striking devices attached to various parts of the musician's body, such as the head,shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees, or feet.

In order to permit easy transportation, the Angel Chimes that I made are fairly simple, consisting of only seven tubes or rods, measuring up to 23 1/2inches long. I used a shop sawhorse as the A-shaped frame.

I prefer to strike the chimes with a stainless steel spoon and a wire pastry cutter. The versatility of this instrument lies in the limitless combinations of materials, shapes and sizes that can be used for the chimes and the hammers, as well as in the positioning and method of striking the components of the chimes.