The bell tree (often confused with the Mark tree) is a stack of nested metal bells connected by a long rod. The bells look like inverted bowls that get increasingly smaller in size. There is no specific number of bells and they vary, typically between 14 (with the smaller handheld versions) and 28 (with the larger versions on stands). Like the Mark tree, the bell tree can produce a glissando by striking the bells with a metal rod (similar to a triangle beater) or orchestra bells mallet.
Versions of the bell tree can be found in several cultures and can be traced back before the 6th century in Asia, being used in religious and secular music. The bell tree found its way into Western orchestral music with the first use said to be by Hector Berlioz with his Symphonie Funebre. The instrument as it is know today was created in the 1950's by the sound effects expert Carrol Bratman. The sound is now commonplace in many genres of popular music.