In this next post I would like to see how texture affects music. Many people confuse texture with timbre because timbre is the color of sound and you can create different colors by using different textures. They are not the same and although using various textures will change the color of the sound you can have a great effect on the feeling and meaning of a piece by manipulating texture.

Texture – how many instruments are used to create the overall soundscape

The formal listing of the size of groups goes as follows:

  • Solo – 1 instrument
  • Duo – 2 instruments
  • Trio – 3 instruments
  • Quartet – 4 instruments
  • Quintet – 5 instruments
  • Sextet – 6 instruments
  • Septet – 7 instruments
  • Octet – 8 instruments
  • Nonet – 9 instruments

Anything larger is considered a band or a group and the largest group is an orchestra.

When creating an arrangement the size of the group and type of instrument will have a definite effect on the harmony, timbre, and dynamics. A string quartet will have a quieter sound than a brass choir. But a full string orchestra will have a larger sound than the same brass choir.