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A quintet is a group containing 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 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.

The standard wind quintet consists of one player each on flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, and horn, while the standard brass quintet has two trumpets, horn, trombone, and tuba. Other combinations are sometimes found, however.

In jazz music, a quintet is group of five players, usually consisting of two of any of the following instruments, guitar, trumpet, saxophone, clarinet, flute or trombone, in addition to those of the traditional jazz triopiano, double bass, drums.[citation needed]

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 contrabass.

Notable quintets[edit]

Performing groups[edit]

Classical music[edit]


Jazz at Massey Hall[edit]

Also known as The Greatest Jazz Concert Ever, featuring a group simply known as "The Quintet", made up of Charlie Parker, alto saxophone; Dizzy Gillespie, trumpet; Bud Powell, piano; Charles Mingus, bass; and Max Roach, drums. They performed at Massey Hall in Toronto, Canada on 15 May 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.

Miles Davis[edit]


Doo wop[edit]


  1. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 81. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.