Every home decor can benefit from a musical wall clock. Clocks are often treated as purely functional, and neglected as an opportunity to add to your home decor. Clock designers have created a huge selection of clocks that are really hanging works of art.
If you’re looking for a perfect gift idea, clocks can’t be beat.
But when you think about the repetitive sounds we listen to all day, from the drone of the refrigerator to the buzz of your neighbour’s lawnmower, a clock chime is simply a way to add something more pleasant to all the background noise. And many clocks will actually play a dozen or more different tunes, from Beethoven to the Beatles, meaning that you probably won’t hear the same melody more than once in a day.
It’s amazing how the warm companionship of an old-fashioned chiming clock can improve your disposition.
When melody wall clocks are mentioned, many think of the classic pendulum clock, framed in an octagonal oak or walnut frame and chiming the Westminster Quarters. These simple, classic wall clocks add character to almost any room or decor from the dining room to the office. They are still a popular choice for home decor and are made by companies like Bulova and Seiko.
A more elaborate, but no less versatile version frames the clock face and pendulum within a tall glass and hardwood case. These chiming clocks have all the charm of an old grandfather clock, but in a much more compact and manageable design.
While they invoke the era of wound clocks and old fashioned hammer and bell mechanisms, modern chiming clocks are usually battery powered with quartz timing. Some even offer volume control.
While traditional pendulum clocks will always have a place in the home, contemporary wall clocks have given a new direction to musical wall clock designs.
Clocks by designers like Gustav Becker are a visual and musical experience. For example one model is designed as a brass version of the traditional pendulum clock, framed in art deco embellishments and marks every hour with a different familiar song (they automatically go quiet at night).
For a truly personalized gift, there is a novelty wall clock to suit any personality. You can choose from themes like Movies, cars, bird songs and even religious themes to find the perfect clock. A cartoon or storybook clock can make a welcome addition to your child’s bedroom decor.
If you’re looking for a truly unique clock gift, online resources like Amazon are usually the best place to go for the biggest selection.
No discussion of musical clocks would be complete without mentioning the beloved cuckoo clock. There are countless variations of this timeless German design with moving parts and more than one alternative to the familiar “coo coo” sound.
Modern battery-powered cuckoos feature a colourful cast of animated figures and birds and a variety of different musical birdsongs and music box themes. Cuckoos make charming and fun conversation pieces for your home. Not only that, but your pet will love them too!
List Price $325.00
This popular wall clock combines elegance and playfulness, making it a perfect for the whole family.
The face depicts a fairyland scene with castles and horn players marking the hours. Metallic accents are combined with colorful crystals. The frame is a rich brown wood burl pattern, accented with brass.
On the hour, the face separates and a revolving led light show begins, accompanied by one of six classic tunes:
- Amazing Grace, by John Newton
- The Jupiter Suite by Gustav Holst
- Pictures at an Exhibition, Promenade by Modest Mussorgsky
- Dance of the Reed Pipes, by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
- Waltz of the Flowers, by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
- Salut d’Amour, by Edward Elgar
Additional features include a demo button (if you can’t wait) and a light sensor which shuts off the performance at night, making it bedroom-friendly.
This is one of several melody wall clocks designed by Seiko. I like the compact, yet elaborate design offered by this model, which measures about 16.5 square inches. The designers were also selective in choosing a handful of tunes with universal appeal, which are rendered in high fidelity sound.
Needless to say, this timepiece needs a fair amount of power, supplied by four D and one AA batteries, which are included.
List Price: $89.00
This is a pendulum clock unlike any other. Instead of the traditional case, this clock features a shining brass exterior with streamlined details. The gleaming gold-finish pendulum rotates within a mirrored case.
I like the clock face on this timekeeper, which resides in a recessed area. It features a warm multi-tone metallic finish. An inner-circle displays markers between the hours, making the clock more functional by allowing you to know the time more precisely. The hours are marked by glittering stones for extra visual interest. The quartz clock also features smooth sweep hand movement.
Rather than a chime, this pendulum clock features an electronic playlist of traditional melodies, classical refrains and lullabies, by artists like Beethoven, Schumann, Tchaikovsky and Andrew Lloyd Webber:
Memory; Fur Elise; Serenata; Minuet; Traumerei
Die Lorelei; Toy Symphony; Swan Lake; Home on the Range
Long, Long Ago; The Farmer in the Dell; Old Black Joe
Happy Farmer; Home Sweet Home; Cradle Song; Hush, little baby
The hourly melodies automatically mute at night. They shut-off mechanism is timer based, rather than using a light sensor, so you can keep the clock in a lighted hallway.
The clock body is a fairly compact 19 inches high and runs on 4 AA batteries (extra). It’s made by the 150 year old German company Gustav Becker, known for their reliable timepeices.
List Price: $295.00
If your looking for a classic clock design, it would be hard to go wrong with this very modern quartz wall clock with a traditional English design.
Its warm wooden frame with swinging brass pendulum and charming cream-colored clock face will match any traditional decor. It’s like having a grandfather clock that doesn’t take over your whole room with its bulk.
But at the same time, the simple, almost minimal design works great with any contemporary look. The case is clean and without any unnecessary ornamentation and the simple, businesslike clock face design is a perfect match.
The reassuringly familiar Westminster chimes mark every quarter hour, and the hours are counted out like Big Ben. But while this may look like an heirloom, it’s insides are perfectly modern and allow you to adjust the volume to match the size of your living space. The chimes also shut off automatically at night.
This clock is fairly substantial, being over 25 inches high and 12 inches wide. So you should have a fairly large room to hang it in. It runs on a single C battery, which is included.
List Price: $270.00
Is there any more entertaining way to mark the hour than with an old-fashioned cuckoo clock? American clockmaker River City combines the charm of the cuckoo with the fun of a modern electric melody wall clock.
This cuckoo is a lot more playful than the traditional version and would be an ideal gift for a young person. The brightly painted design features flowers and a swinging heart shaped pendulum. The chalet scene features a mountain dweller sounding his alpine horn in the company of his St. Bernard. Two authentic-looking brass pine cone weights hang below.
As expected a cuckoo bird appears to mark each hour with it’s refrain. Then a musical performance begins, featuring one of twelve (mostly appropriate) compositions:
Happy Wanderer; Edelweiss; Fur Elise; Lorelei; Swan Lake
Home sweet Home; Sound of Silence; Clementine
Themes from Dr. Zhivago, The Deer Hunter, The Sting and The Godfather
Modern technology mean you never have to wind this version of the timeless German clock, which keeps accurate quartz time. A volume and mute feature makes it a well-behaved companion in you bedroom as well. Unlike a traditional cuckoo, it’s also fairly compact, which means you can put it anywhere.
It runs on three C batteries and comes with a limited two-year warranty.
List Price: 139.00
I like the simple classic feel of the design of this musical clock, designed by the venerable German clockmaker, Gustav Becker. The elegant clock face features curling art deco numerals and a spade-shaped hour hand. Sweeping quartz movement replaces the usual jerking movement of the second hand. The three dimensional design features medieval towers and models of musical instruments framed with art deco lines and a cherry wood finished frame.
On each hour, the towers light up and the instruments rotate to one of six contemporary tunes:
- My Heart Will Go On
- When You Wish Upon a Star
- Beauty and the Beast
- The Long and Winding Road
I would have thought that some classic sounds would have been appropriate, but the selections are all of the pop variety. The volume control is a nice touch, so you don’t have to worry about the tunes becoming a distraction. It also automatically goes mute when you turn the lights off.
This is a fairly large clock, measuring nearly 19 inches high, so it would work best in a sitting room or hallway, rather than an office or bedroom. It takes 3 D-cells.
We wound clock and now the chimes have stopped. It is still running but no chimes they appear to be stuck
Rhythm Clocks has created over 100 musical & motion clocks. Rhythm Small World Clocks typically play one of 6 to 18 melodies every hour on the hour. Courtneys Candles presents them all @ www.courtneyscandles.com