Definition of sextet in English:


(also sextette)


  • 1A group of six people playing music or singing together.

    ‘the Jazz Club presents a new sextet’
    • ‘(For example, a woodwind quintet might add a piano and become a sextet, or a string quartet might be reduced to a string trio.).’
    • ‘The three-year-old quintet has become a sextet with the addition of Aaron Taylor, who has honed his bagpiping skills with the University of Calgary Pipe Band (in which he still plays).’
    • ‘The fest kicks off with a visit from Vancouver's Zeellia, a sextet whose home base is Ukrainian traditional music, from which point they venture out to sounds from the Balkans, the Baltic region and the Canadian prairies.’
    • ‘The Orchestra also has a sextet for when we perform at smaller venues.’
    • ‘At the same time, she continued to participate in chamber music, and founded a sextet in 1974.’
    • ‘Quartets and sextets also are very valuable in group teaching.’
    • ‘The sextet received honourable mention, the quintet was ignored.’
    • ‘It helps that every one of this sextet can really sing.’
    • ‘It would be misleading to call this local sextet an orchestral pop band, despite their occasionally clean melodies and prominent trumpet and cello.’
    • ‘The intended cycle was, like Schoenberg, for string sextet and using Richard Dehmel's poems.’
    • ‘While my colleagues settled for orchestral, choral or chamber music configurations, I opted for a sextet of Ondes Martenot.’
    • ‘The sextets and septets playing in the clubs and hotels of the capital had brought the son, the traditional Cuban dance rhythm, from the east of the island, and added trumpets to the original percussion and guitars.’
    • ‘Finally, Rob Ellington, who has been performing since the age of 11, won an amateur contest at the Apollo Theatre and toured with Blue Magic and others, completes the sextet as the band's lead singer.’
    • ‘A sextet of artists come together in this unique collaboration, which is documented in a limited-edition book.’
    • ‘One expects the unexpected - a world music sextet follows a country trio, follows a heavyweight jazz trio.’
    • ‘Although a number of composers have written concertos for it, it shines best in the orchestra, with many effective solos, and as a chamber-music instrument in wind quintets, sextets, and octets and other ensembles.’
    • ‘To an extent, it does: The quartet has grown into a sextet, and the expanded line-up is evident in the ambitious, intricate, yet accessible arrangements and the dramatic dynamic between the songs.’
    • ‘A sextet, including yours truly, sang alone on the secunda pars.’
    • ‘A harmlessly fun prom band, the frisky sextet slickly employ synthesizers, moogs and a farfisa to frame their punk-lite delivery.’
    • ‘The ten songs of loud and beautiful orchestral pop contained in the Montreal sextet's label debut should make them bigger than French toast, but is unlikely to inspire followers to their overpowering yet impeccably constructed sound.’
    group, band, orchestra, combo
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A composition for a sextet.
      ‘the sextet from ‘The Marriage of Figaro’’
      • ‘His string sextet Verklärte Nacht Op 4 is imbued with the ultra passionate nightmarish intensity of Wagner's Tristan and Isolde.’
      • ‘After listening to every Tchaikovsky work she could get her hands on, she decided to go for smaller, lesser known selections, his String Quartet # 3, the sextet Souvenir de Florence, and Autumn Song from The Seasons.’
      • ‘A sextet, the piece opens with the figures in silhouette, three stretched out on the floor and three standing - one behind the other at first, so the unfolding of a single totem into discrete, rushing bodies is astonishing and eerie.’
      • ‘He is composing a straight sextet for principals of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, has premiered a ballet in Vienna and has been welcomed at Pierre Boulez's IRCAM, crucible of ascetic futurism.’
      • ‘This latter duet culminates in Enrico's discovery of Anna's supposed infidelity, and the succeeding sextet rivals the parallel ensemble in Lucia di Lammermoor if nor for melody then for skill of construction.’
      • ‘Kiri took the part of Donna Elvira and Malvina sang Donna Anna in Mozart's sextet from Don Giovanni.’
      • ‘Right after we had begun the sextet of act II, with almost the whole cast on stage, we noticed a blue light that began flashing from the house.’
    2. 1.2 A set of six people or things.
      ‘a sextet of new releases’


Mid 19th century: alteration of sestet, suggested by Latin sex ‘six’.