AskDefine | Define quintet

Dictionary Definition



1 a musical composition for five performers [syn: quintette]
2 the cardinal number that is the sum of four and one [syn: five, 5, V, cinque, quint, fivesome, quintuplet, pentad, fin, Phoebe, Little Phoebe]
3 five performers or singers who perform together [syn: quintette]
4 a set of five similar things considered as a unit [syn: quintette]
5 five people considered as a unit [syn: quintette, fivesome]

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. A composition for five singers or musicians; a group of five singers or musicians
  2. Any group of five


(music) a composition for five singers or musicians; a group of five singers or musicians
  • Hungarian: ötös, kvintett
  • Portuguese: quinteto
any group of five
  • Hungarian: ötös
  • Portuguese: quinteto

Extensive Definition

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.
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 traditional jazz trio - piano, double bass, drums.
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 or bass trombone. Any combination, however, is possible.
Many rock, pop and metal bands are made up of five people, usually made up of two guitarists, a bassist, a drummer and a lead singer. This is usually the maximum size of most bands – to have more members than five is uncommon.
It is becoming increasingly common in a cappella and barbershop music circles to use the fifth voice as vocal percussionist, with the remainder being a traditional SATB (soprano alto tenor bass) quartette, or perhaps SSAA or TTBB.

Notable quintets

Classical Music

  • Mozart: quintet for piano and winds K. 452 (oboe, clarinet, bassoon and horn) (1784)
  • Reicha: wind quintets, among the first for the medium (starting in 1811)
  • Schubert: piano quintet in A major, D.667 (1819), popularely known as the 'Trout Quintet', based on his Lied "Die Forelle" ("the trout"); 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.
  • Schubert: string quintet in C-major, op.163 (D.956, 1828).
  • Schumann: piano quintet in E-flat, op.44 (1842)
  • Brahms: piano quintet in F minor, op.34 (1862)
  • Dvorak: piano quintets in A, op.5 (1872), and Op. 81 (1887), heavily influenced by both the Schubert and Schumann pieces of the same name.
  • Bizet: opera Carmen contains a particularly engaging quintet (not always performed), by singers playing some of the smugglers. (1873–4)
  • Bruckner: string quintet in F major (1879)
  • Brahms: string quintet in F, op.88 (1882)
  • Shostakovich: piano quintet in G minor, op.57 (1940)


Rock, pop and metal

quintet in Arabic: خماسي (موسيقى)
quintet in German: Quintett
quintet in French: Quintette
quintet in Italian: Quintetto
quintet in Latvian: Kvintets
quintet in Luxembourgish: Quintett
quintet in Dutch: Kwintet
quintet in Japanese: 五人組
quintet in Norwegian: Kvintett
quintet in Polish: Kwintet
quintet in Russian: Квинтет
quintet in Finnish: Kvintetti
quintet in Swedish: Kvintett
quintet in Ukrainian: Квінтет

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Pentateuch, Philharmonic, Phoebe, V, band, big band, bipartisanship, brass, brass band, brass choir, brass quintet, brass section, brasses, callithumpian band, chamber orchestra, cinque, coaction, coadjuvancy, coadministration, coagency, cochairmanship, codirectorship, collaboration, collaborativeness, collectivism, collusion, combo, commensalism, common effort, common enterprise, communalism, communism, communitarianism, community, complicity, concert, concert band, concord, concordance, concurrence, cooperation, cooperativeness, desks, dixieland band, duet, duettino, duo, duumvirate, ecumenicalism, ecumenicism, ecumenism, ensemble, ensemble music, ensemble singing, esprit, esprit de corps, fellow feeling, fellowship, fin, five, five bucks, five dollars, fiver, fivesome, gamelan orchestra, group, harmony, jazz band, joining of forces, joint effort, joint operation, jug band, mass action, military band, morale, mullet, mutual assistance, mutualism, mutuality, octet, orchestra, part music, part singing, part song, pentachord, pentad, pentagon, pentagram, pentahedron, pentameter, pentapody, pentarchy, pentastich, pentathlon, polyphonic music, pooling, pooling of resources, pulling together, quartet, quincunx, quint, quintuplet, ragtime band, reciprocity, rock-and-roll group, septet, septuor, sestet, sextet, skiffle band, solidarity, steel band, street band, string band, string choir, string orchestra, string quartet, strings, swing band, symbiosis, symphony, symphony orchestra, synergism, synergy, team spirit, teamwork, terzet, terzetto, trio, triumvirate, troika, united action, waits, woodwind, woodwind choir, woodwind quartet, woodwinds
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1