In Classical music, string quartets are considered to be an important type of chamber music. String quartets consist of two violins, a viola, and a cello. The particular choice and number of instruments derives from the registers of the human voice: soprano, alto, tenor and bass. In the string quartet, two violins play the soprano and alto vocal registers, the viola plays the tenor register and the cello plays the bass register. Occasionally, string quartets are written for violin, viola, cello and double bass, representing the SATB format. The types of pieces written for this quartet are sometimes in the format of 2 main voices, (violin and cello) backed up by the viola and double bass respectively.
One of the early composers of string quartets, Luigi Boccherini, wrote 100 string quartets. Other important composers of string quartets include Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Ludwig van Beethoven. The term "quartet" is also used to refer to a musical composition written for such a group. In string quartets, each player is typically given an allowing distinct part.
Another common type of Western art music quartet is the piano quartet, consisting of violin, viola, cello, and piano.
Wind quartets are scored either the same as a string quartet with the wind instrument replacing the first violin (i.e. scored for wind, violin, viola and cello) or are groups of four wind instruments. Among the latter, the SATB format woodwind quartet of flute, oboe, clarinet, and bassoon is relatively common.
An example of a wind quartet featuring four of the same types of wind instruments is the "Saxophone Quartet", consisting of Soprano Saxophone, Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone and Baritone Saxophone or (SATB). Often a second alto may be substituted for the Soprano part (AATB) or a Bass Saxophone may be substituted for the Bari. The groups usually perform a mix of classical and jazz. Saxophone Quartet literature is limited and most of the traditional style classical sheet music is transcribed from string quartet charts.
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Famous quotes containing the word classical:
“The basic difference between classical music and jazz is that in the former the music is always greater than its performanceBeethovens Violin Concerto, for instance, is always greater than its performancewhereas the way jazz is performed is always more important than what is being performed.”
—André Previn (b. 1929)
“Et in Arcadia ego.
[I too am in Arcadia.]”
Tomb inscription, appearing in classical paintings by Guercino and Poussin, among others. The words probably mean that even the most ideal earthly lives are mortal. Arcadia, a mountainous region in the central Peloponnese, Greece, was the rustic abode of Pan, depicted in literature and art as a land of innocence and ease, and was the title of Sir Philip Sidneys pastoral romance (1590)
“Classical art, in a word, stands for form; romantic art for content. The romantic artist expects people to ask, What has he got to say? The classical artist expects them to ask, How does he say it?”
—R.G. (Robin George)