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Quintet

From Academic Kids

This article is about quintets, for the videogame developer, see Quintet (developer).

A quintet is a formation containing exactly five members. It is commonly associated with musical groups, such as a string quintet, or a group of five singers, but can be applied to any situation where five similar or related objects are considered a single unit.

In classical instrumental music, any additional instrument (such as a piano, clarinet, oboe, etc.) joined to a the usual string quartet (two violins, a viola, and a cello), gives the resulting ensemble its name, such as "piano quintet", "clarinet quintet", etc. A piece of music written for such a group is similarly named.

In jazz music a quintet is any group of five players, usually containing a drum set (pedal bass, snaredrum sometimes brushed, and top hat and brushed cymbals), string bass or electric bass, and groups of one or two of the following instruments, guitar, trumpet, saxophone, clarinet, or trombone.

In some modern bands there are quintets formed from the same family of instruments with various voices, as an all brass ensemble, or all saxophones, in soprano, alto, baritone, and bass, and sometimes double bass. The standard woodwind quintet, for example, consists of one player each on flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, and French horn, while the standard brass quintet has two trumpets, French horn, trombone, and tuba. Any combination, however, is possible.

Notable Quintets

  • Mozart quintet for piano and winds K452 (oboe, clarinet, bassoon and horn) (1784)
  • Schubert Die Forelle or 'Trout' piano quintet in A major, D.667 (1819), based on his Lied of the same name; this piece in part inspired future efforts in the composition of piano quintets, especially those of Schumann and Dvorak. The piece is scored for violin, viola, cello, bass instead of an additional violin, and piano, unlike the usual arrangement of the piano quintet.
  • Schumann piano quintet in E-flat, Op.44 (1842)
  • Brahms piano quintet in F minor, Op.34 (1862)
  • Dvorak piano quintet in A, Op.5 (1872), heavily influenced by both the Schubert and Schumann pieces of the same name.
  • Bizet's opera Carmen contains an particularly engaging quintet (not always performed), by singers playing some of the smugglers. (1873-4)
  • Brahms string quintet in F, Op.88 (1882)
  • Shostakovich piano quintet in G minor, Op.57 (1940)
  • 'The Greatest Concert Ever.' Jazz quintet. Charlie Parker, saxophone; Dizzy Gillespie, trumpet; Bud Powell, piano; Charles Mingus, bass; and Max Roach, drums. Massey Hall, Toronto, Canada. (May 15, 1953) This concert took place against all odds: Bud Powell was drunk; Charlie Parker, identified as "Charlie Chan" in the original notes, played on a plastic alto saxophone; and Dizzy Gillespie would disappear offstage to check on the status of the first Rocky Marciano-Jersey Joe Walcott heavyweight championship match.pl:Kwintet
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