Ensemble (music)

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The word ensemble ( listen ? / I ) has two meanings in music. Audio file / audio sample

Ensemble in the sense of a sound body

Music ensembles
according to the number of people
Duet / Duo
Terzett / Trio
Orchestra / Choir

A smaller group of performers is often referred to as an ensemble. There are pure vocal ensembles , pure instrumental ensembles , and mixed ensembles.

Characteristic for an ensemble is the comparatively high level of personal responsibility and competence of all people involved, which is usually expressed in the solo cast of each individual part. In contrast, there are large ensembles such as the orchestra and the choir . Many choirs have the designation (vocal) ensemble in their name despite the delimitation. Ensembles often do not have a special conductor , but are led by a fellow player (traditionally the concertmaster ) or singers in the role of a primus inter pares or by no individual at all. Music ensembles that play popular music are usually called bands . In jazz one speaks of a combo .

Examples of ensemble forms:

Ensemble in the sense of a stage music piece

In the opera , an ensemble (besides the meaning “totality of the participating vocal soloists”, see ensemble (theater) ) is a single movement or section of a sentence in which many of the soloists are involved. Such scenes, which are usually very elaborately composed with several voices, often appear at the end of acts for the purpose of enhancement, but are also possible at any other point.


  • Ensembles for contemporary music , ensembles for early music , in: Deutscher Musikrat (Hrsg.): Musik-Almanach 2007/08. Data and facts on musical life in Germany, Regensburg, ConBrio, 2006, pp. 763–804.

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