A proper instrumentation depends largely on the ocassion you might be having. Solo, duet, trio and quartet are best for small venues like a chapel for wedding, little garden for ceremonies, and an intimate setting for reception. These groups can entertain 50- 250 guests given an adequate amplification. But how do we choose what best goes with what?
Always remember to have an accompanying instrument like a piano, guitar, bass or cello. Once you have this, take note of an instrument playing the melody. Idealy like a violin, flute, voice or any instrument practically. And dont forget the one who will play the harmony, a second voice that can give more texture to your music. It can be from the same group of instruments, or not, so long as it is not higher-sounding than the soloist.
Say, a String quartet has Cello who plays the bass line, viola plays the accompanying rhythm, 2nd violin plays the harmony and 1st violin plays the melody. You may substitute the violins with flute and then call it a mixed quartet.
For vocal groups, the best choice would be a Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass or the SATB. If you wish to have a piano in the group, you can have piano as accompanying, bass/cello for lower body tone, violinists who can play melody or harmony, flutes who can do the same, or male and female singers.
You can make a lot of combinations so long as you remember the proper instrumentation guidelines.
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