A bell tower may have a single bell, or a collection of bells which are tuned to a common scale.

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There are two types of historical traditions in military bands. This type of music includes bugles (or other natural instruments such as natural trumpets or natural horns), bagpipes, or fifes and almost always drums (see military drums).

This type of music was used to control troops on the battlefield as well as for entertainment.

A bell tower is a tower that contains one or more bells, or that is designed to hold bells even if it has none.

Such a tower commonly serves as part of a church, and will contain church bells, but there are also many secular bell towers, often part of a municipal building, an educational establishment, or a tower built specifically to house a carillon.

In 1999 thirty-two Belgian belfries were added to the UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites.

In 2005 this list was extended with one Belgian and twenty-three Northern French belfries and is since known as Belfries of Belgium and France.

Not all are on a large scale; the "bell" tower of Katúň, in Slovakia, is typical of the many more modest structures that were once common in country areas.

Archaic wooden bell towers survive adjoining churches in Lithuania and as well as in some parts of Poland.

Bells are rung from a tower to enable them to be heard at a distance.