An octet can be a group of eight players, or a composition created for such a group. Before the 19th century, writing for eight performers was common when it came to serenades and divertimenti. However, the word 'octet' first appeared as a title for a composition with Prince Louis Ferdinand's Octet Op. 12. (for flute, clarinet, 2 horns, 2 violins, and 2 cellos). Octets can be written for string ensembles (such as Mendelssohn's Op. 20), double string quartets, only-cello octets, wind octets, or hybrid wind/string ensembles.
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Wind Octet in E flat major, Op. 103 String Octet in E flat major, Op. 20 Octet in F major, D. 803 Double Quartet No.4, Op.136 Octet in F major, D.72
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Carl Heinrich Carsten Reinecke Charles-Marie Widor Felix Mendelssohn Ferdinand Ries Francesco Corteccia Franz Schubert Frédéric Dolmetsch Gabriel Malancioiu
George Enescu Giles Farnaby Heinrich Molbe Hermann Grädener Joachim Raff Johann Went Louis Spohr Ludwig van Beethoven