Bell plates are used principally to perform two tasks: as a substitute for church bells and to add color. The practice of combining bell plates with metallophones of all kinds was inspired by the music of eastern Asia and was adopted by orchestra music in the 20th century.
The extent to which the bell plates blend with other orchestra instruments depends on the sound structure. Their properties mean that a particularly good blend is achieved with metal idiophones with definite pitch: glockenspiel, vibraphone, gong. In addition, they combine well with all instruments that have a sound composed of attack and resonance: Gong, cymbals, tam-tam, timpani, harp, piano.
Played simultaneously, bell plates and tubular bells produce a powerful combination.