A musical ensemble is a group of 2 or more musicians that develop instrumental or vocal music.
In classical music, trios or quartets either combine the sounds of instrument families (e.g., winds, strings, and piano) also group the wind ensembles or string ensembles.
In jazz ensembles, the instruments typically include accompaniment of one or more saxophones, trumpets, etc. One or 2 chordal instruments (Organ, piano, or electric guitar), a bass instrument (double blass or electric bass guitar), and a percussionist or drummer.
In rock ensembles, there are generally many guitars (1 or 2 electric guitars, a bass guitar, and also can have one or more acoustic guitars), a keyboard player (either a Hammond organ, a piano, a electronic synthesizer or an electric piano), and a drummer.
Classical chamber music
In Western Art music, smaller ensembles are called chamber music ensembles and use the terms duet, trio, quartet, quintet, sextet, septet, octet, and nonet are used to describe groups of 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 musicians, respectively.
- Four parts
The term "quartet" is an ensemble of 4 players and also can use as name for music written for an ensemble of 4 players, such as wind quartets and string quartets.
The string quartet, which is made up of a viola, 2 violins and a violoncello.
- Five parts
The string quintet is a common kind of quintet. It's similar to the string quartet, but with 2 violas, 2 violoncellos, or more rarely, the addition of a double bass (e.g., the Trout quintet). Terms such as "clarinet quintet" or "piano quintet" frequently refer to a string quartet plus a fifth instrument.
- Six or more instruments
The music ensembles that usually more of 6 musicians are occasionally used, such as septets (7 musicians), octets (8 musicians), or nonets (9 musicians). Normally, in several cases a larger classical groups are referred to as an orchestra of some kind.
A small orchestra conformed by 15 to 20 members (cellos, violas, double bassists, violins, and a many woodwind or brass instruments) is called a chamber orchestra.
- Two parts
Jazz duos are used in small places, such as wine bars, lounges, and jazz clubs. Jazz duos can usually use a trumpet or saxaphone with one bass, organ, drums, or piano or also by using 2 rhythm section instrument (e.g. piano & double blass, jazz guitar & double blass, hammond organ & jazz guitar).
- Three parts
In jazz, there are many kinds of trios. Usually, one kind of jazz trio is formed with a drummer, a bass player and a piano player. Another kind of jazz trio is the organ trio, is formed with a drummer, a hammond organ player and a third instrumentalist that it can be an electrical jazz guitarist or a saxophone player.
- Four parts
Jazz quartets is formed with a saxophones, trombones, trumpets, or any other wind instrument commonly associated with jazz).
- Larger ensembles
Larger jazz ensembles can vary depending to the style of jazz being performed.
- In a 1920s-style dixieland jazz band, can be formed by clarinetist, a banjo player and trompones or (trumpets, saxophones).
- In a 1970s-style jazz fusion ensemble, is formed by adding additional soloing instruments or percussionists.
Rock and pop bands
- Two parts
Two-member rock and pop bands are relatively rare, because it's easier to facilitate all of the musical elements which are part of the rock or pop sound (bass lines, chords, vocals, and drumming or percussion) with trios or quartets.
- Three-member ensembles
The smallest ensemble that is commonly used in rock music is the trio format. In a hard rock or blues-rock band, or heavy metal rock group, a "power trio" format is often used, which consists of an elecetric bass guitar player, an electric guitar player and a drummer, and frequently one or more of these musicians also sing.
- Four parts
The four-parts band is a common classification in rock & pop music. Formerly, the configuration was usually 2 guitarists (1 rhythm guitarist & 1 lead guitarist), a bass player (usually the electric bass guitar) and a drummer.