The Singing Oak – New Orleans, Louisiana - Atlas Obscura

The Singing Oak

This New Orleans tree is filled with hidden chimes that produce a carefully tuned melody. 

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The expansive branches of the “Singing Oak”, or Chime Tree, provide shade and coordinated melodies from the beautiful wind chimes hung from the giant oak by local artist Jim Hart.

The melodious 125-year-old tree towers in the heart of City Park, just down the road from the New Orleans Museum of Art. During the summer, the oak provides a reprieve from the sultry Louisiana heat and offers enchanting tunes from the wind chimes strung from the branches. The chimes are all tuned to play as one in the pentatonic scale, (which is the scale used in West African music, early Jazz, and Gospel music, linking it with New Orleans’ rich musical heritage) and are painted black to blend in with the plant’s natural shadows. The 7  instruments range in size, with one reaching a length of 14 feet. The harmonious effect is that of a relaxing, tinkling natural symphony.

Although the Singing Oak is in plain sight of visitors, not many people know about this hidden New Orleans gem next to a beautiful lake. Take a few minutes to sit beneath the Chime Tree and walk away just slightly more relaxed than when you arrived.

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