Common Chamber Music Combinations

  • Duos (most common): Sonatas for any instrument and pianos, but any combination of 2 instruments are possible
  • Trios (most common):
    • String trio: the most common is viola, violin, cello
    • Piano trio: violin, cello, piano, or a wind instrument, cello and piano
  • Quartets (most common):
    • String quartets: 2 violins, viola, and cello
    • Piano quartet: violin, viola, cello, piano
  • Quintet (most common):
    • String quintet: string quartet plus an extra viola or cello
    • Piano quintet: string quartet plus a piano
    • Brass quintet: 2 trumpets, trombone, french horn, and tuba
    • Blank quintet: string quartet plus the wind instrument which could be a clarinet, viola, or cello
    • Woodwind quintet: flute, oboe, clarinet, french horn, and bassoon
  • Sextet (most common):
    • String sextet: 2 violins, 2 violas, 2 cellos
  • Septets (most common)
    • Wind Septet: Beethoven’s Septet- violin, viola, clarinet, french horn, bassoon, cello, and double bass.
  • Octet (most common)
    • Mendelssohn's Octet: 2 string quartets
    • Schubert’s Octet: clarinet, horn, bassoon, 2 violins, viola, cello, and double bass
  • Those are the best known combinations, but any combination is possible including: voice, harp, saxophone, guitar, or percussion