Bell tree

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Not to be confused with Handbell Tree.
A simple bell tree, with holder

A bell tree (often confused with the mark tree) is a percussion instrument, consisting of vertically nested inverted metal bowls. The bowls, placed on a vertical rod, are arranged roughly in order of pitch. The number of bowls can vary between approximately 14 and 28. An effective glissando is produced by sliding a triangle beater, a glockenspiel mallet, or a xylophone mallet down the length of the tree. When a glissando is played, the inexactness of the order of the bowls' pitch is unnoticeable, merely creating a fuller sound.[1][2]

The bell tree is often used to accentuate the start or end of passages of music with a "bright", "shimmer" effect, adding complexity.[3]

Chick Corea and his group Return To Forever occasionally made use of the bell tree (i.e. album Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy), as has the group Santana.


  1. ^ "Bell Tree". Virginia Tech Multimedia Music Dictionary. 2012-10-17. Retrieved 2012-11-24. 
  2. ^ Robert M. McCormick (1985-03-01). Percussion for Musicians: A Complete, Fundamental Literature and Technique ... Alfred Music Publishing. p. 41. ISBN 0769233651. Retrieved 2012-11-24. 
  3. ^ Kalani (2008). All About Hand Percussion. Alfred Music Publishing. p. 21. ISBN 073904964X. Retrieved 2012-11-24.