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 in order of pitch (inexactly). The number of bowls can vary between approximately 14 and 28. An effective glissando is done by sliding a triangle beater, a glockenspielmallet, or a xylophone mallet down the tree. When a glissando is played, the inexactness of the order of pitch is unnoticeable; the glissando just sounds fuller.[clarification needed] Random or relatively pitched notes can also be played on a bell tree.
The bell tree is often used to accentuate the start or end of passages of music with a "bright", "shimmer" effect, adding complexity.