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.
|Octet in F major, D. 803||Franz Schubert||Chamber group||Romantic|
|Octet, Op.216||Carl Heinrich Carsten Reinecke||Wind Ensemble||Romantic|
|String Octet in E flat major, Op. 20||Felix Mendelssohn||Chamber group||Romantic|
|String Octet, Op. 12||Hermann Grädener||Chamber group||Romantic|
|Wind Octet in E flat major, Op. 103||Ludwig van Beethoven||Wind Ensemble||Classical|