As one of the main focal points of this website, music is an important tool for relaxing as it helps influence the mind by “distracting” your thoughts. I’ve recently improvised a 5-minute piano piece that has quickly become one of my favorites so far.
Behind the Music
I invite you to listen a bit to the above song as this article is all about it! “Wind Chimes” was improvised by myself using roughly two chords (chromatic mediants to each other) for the duration of the piece.
Now, I know “two chords” sounds very simplistic and boring. But I have really come to appreciate the strategy of heavily developing chordal colors by the use of “time.” Time is the greatest tool for a composer or musician, because it is the way in which we as humans listen to music – it is our “medium” for art creation. Without the “time” aspect, music wouldn’t exist (if it was a singular sound, it would be considered a sound effect).
This specific piece explores these two chords, Eb-Major-7 and G-Major-7. Although at first glance, it seems as though they don’t relate, but at closer examination you’ll find that there are two common tones: G and D. These two tones make up a 5th interval, which is the second interval found in nature (in the overtone series). This is a big reason as to why it sounds so Earthly because I’m experimenting between the 5th interval and color tones (like the 7ths).
As the piece plays out, rhythms change, different melodies enter, but throughout the piece these two chords continue to change with the same timing between them. This progression becomes predictable, yet comforting to the listener. Each re-iteration of this simple progression feels warm and “home-y,” while the rhythmic playfulness and development keep things engaging throughout the piece (at least I hope!).
The sound of an acoustic piano is more than just melodic – it is very much percussive too. Hammers hit strings, felt hits metal. The “clunk” of each key adds an onset of energy to each pitch that sounds through the warm body of a grand piano (which the sound library I’m using in this piece is imitating).
The underlying layer involves two drone sounds: a low bass drone and a high (metallic) drone. I choose the metallic shimmers over the piano to elude to the title and purpose behind the music (to represent wind through wind chimes).
If you listen closely, I do have audio of wind passing through trees playing on the edges of the perceived sound (X/Y). Deep bass drum sounds echo underneath the piano as though played from a distance.
With all these elements tied together, a grand spectrum is found in this piece (from low to high frequencies).
Other Free Music Sources
If you’re looking for more free music sources, please feel free to listen to the entire playlist of relaxing piano music I have made available in another post: Relaxing Piano Music – Free Downloads.
If you’re a YouTube fan, I’d highly suggest my recommendations through other sources other than MusicalGrowth.com (though I have some videos as well). You can find my list of suggested meditation videos here: Free 5-min Guided Meditation on YouTube
I am always open to receiving suggestions – please, please don’t hesitate to reach out if you’d like me to create or compose a musical composition for a loved one or for yourself. Give me a purpose behind the music or the desired benefit you’d like from listening to a piece and I will get to writing.
I love commissioned music, because it gives me a purpose to write the music itself. And when the purpose is helping another, I find more “love” and passion finds it’s way in the process of creating the music.
Feel free to comment on this page to suggest anything or ask for anything. I always read every comment and will take everyone’s thoughts/advice/suggestions to heart. My goal is to help you – so please share what you think would help!
“Wind chimes” has become one of my favorite relaxing piano pieces so far. I find when I listen to it myself, all the rhythmic illusions keep me listening so I can “find out” what happens next.
Please keep in mind that this piece was improvised. The “feats” and piano skills involved happen at-will and are unplanned. So when I, myself, listen to it, it is almost as fresh to me as it is to another. I’ve only ever heard it one other time: when I was improvising the piece! I, of course, edit a few things in production and add a few sound effects, but the entire piece is still relatively “new” to my ears.
If you haven’t read my About the Author page, then I feel I should explain myself a bit further.
Piano improvisation, to me, is a form of meditation. Of course, I’m using the term “meditation” loosely because in this situation, I’m referring to meditation as an exercise that allows my brain to slow down, stop thinking, and focus on the “now.” Each piece I’ve improvised for this site has been a recording of myself meditating. Except when I “meditate,” I produce “sound” as a consequence.
Music is essentially wave forms or frequencies of vibrating air. The entire universe is composed of vibrations from each planet’s unique “hum” to the vibration of particles in cells, or even strings in “string theory.” No matter what you may come across in life, there is a vibrating material within it.
I find that music is humankind’s way of organizing this amazing magic we call “sound” and with the right balance, a composer can create wonderful works of art that “moves” people more than language can.
But please remember that I am just one person – everyone has their own opinion.
I would love to hear your thoughts on what music means to you! Please feel free to share in the comments below.
Thank you so much for reading and listening!