Audio: group (0:04)

Figure: group

group plays a solo voice accompanied by calliopes. The group figure shows the score.

A group is a collection of parts.

To write harmony, we need to think about what sort of group we wish to write music for, how to assign notes to voices and instruments, and how to notate the music.

Accompaniment is an umbrella term for a group. It often means a singer supported by a backing band but it is a flexible term that covers everything from a solo singer accompanied by a solo instrument to a massed choir accompanied by an orchestra. It includes cantata, oratorio and opera.

There are plenty of other names for a group. Ensemble, orchestra, band and combo all mean pretty much the same thing.

Some solo musical instruments function as a harmony instrument, an instrument that can play multiple notes simultaneously. The piano, keyboards generally, and the guitar are all instruments of harmony.