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, however, are sometimes found.
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 contrabass.
- Mozart: Quintet for Piano and Winds K. 452 (oboe, clarinet, bassoon and horn) (1784)
- Mozart: Quintet for clarinet and strings in A major, K. 581 (1789)
- Reicha: wind quintets, among the first for the medium (starting in 1811)
- Schubert: Piano Quintet in A major, D. 667 (1819), popularly known as the 'Trout Quintet', based on his Lied "Die Forelle" ("the trout"). 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); String Quintet in F major, Op. 88 (1882); Clarinet Quintet in B minor, Op. 115 (1891)
- Dvorak: Piano Quintets in A major, Op. 5 (1872), and Op. 81 (1887), heavily influenced by both the Schubert and Schumann piano quintets
- Bizet: opera Carmen contains a quintet (not always performed), by singers playing some of the smugglers (1873-74)
- Bruckner: String Quintet in F major (1879)
- Paul Hindemith: Kleine Kammermusik, Op. 24, No. 2 (1922)
- Nielsen: Wind Quintet (1922)
- Schoenberg: Wind Quintet, Op. 26 (1923-24)
- Villa-Lobos: Quinteto (em forma de chôros) (1928)
- Shostakovich: Piano Quintet in G minor, Op. 57 (1940)
- Stockhausen: Zeitmaße (1955-56)
- Perle: Wind Quintet No. 4 (1984-85)
- 'The Greatest Concert Ever.' Jazz quintet. Charlie Parker, alto saxophone; Dizzy Gillespie, trumpet; Bud Powell, piano; Charles Mingus, bass; and Max Roach, drums. Massey Hall, Toronto, Canada. (May 15, 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' First and Second 'great' Quintets:
- The First Great Quintet (1955-1958) Miles Davis, trumpet; John Coltrane, tenor saxophone; Red Garland, piano; Paul Chambers, bass; Philly Joe Jones, drums.
- The Second Great Quintet (1964-1968) Miles Davis, trumpet; Wayne Shorter, tenor saxophone; Herbie Hancock, piano; Ron Carter, bass; Tony Williams, drums.