The word "A cappella" comes from the Italian phrase "Alla Capella", meaning "in the church style".
A cappella music follows the church traditions of polyphonic musical work by unaccompanied voices.
Sing (or play) with someone who is singing (or playing) the main melody, and as a musical part that supports or complements the melody.
A musical composition for ten instruments or ten singers.
The common instrumental setting of dectet usually consists of two string quintets, two woodwind quintets, or a combination of string quintet and woodwind quintet.
A ensemble setting or composition for two instruments or two singers.
In a duet, each part is equally important. They usually take turns to play the solo part.
The word "Duet" comes from the Italian word "Duetto", which means "Two voices".
An ensemble is a group of two or more musicians who perform together, including chamber music (such as duets to quintets), choirs, string ensembles, wind ensembles, and orchestras.
A musical composition for nine instruments or nine singers.
The instrumental setting of nonet is usually based on a string quartet (or a woodwind quintet) with other types of instruments added.
A musical composition for eight instruments or eight singers.
An octet is usually written of two groups of quartets. The most common settings are:
A musical composition for four instruments or four singers.
Although any group of four performers can be called a quartet, traditionally the word "Quartet" mainly refered to String Quartet (consisting of two violins, viola, and cello).
Other examples of "Quartets" include Piano Quartet, Flute Quartet, Oboe Quartet... Traditionally, various "Quartets" are comprised of a String Trio (violin, viola, cello) with an instrument that is not part of the string family.
In addition, "Quartet" can also be used to refer various combinations of mixed instruments, such as woodwind quartets, brass quartets, and vocal quartets.
A musical composition for five instruments or five singers.
In Western classical music, a quintet is usually written for strings (two violins, two violas, cello), woodwinds (flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon, french horn), and piano with a string quartet (piano, two violins, viola, cello).
In vocal genre, a quintet is usually written for two sopranos, alto, tenor, and bass.
A musical composition for seven instruments or seven singers.
Compared with other ensemble settings, septets are relatively rare in Western classical music. One of the most famous classical septets is Beethoven's Septet in E flat major for clarinet, bassoon, french horn, violin, viola, cello, and double bass.
A musical composition for six instruments or six singers.
The most common setting of sextets are:
A musical composition for three instruments or three singers.
In Western classical music, the most common combinations of trio ensembles are the piano trio (piano/violin/cello) and the string trio (violin, viola, and cello).