Numerous bands of the first prog era utilised rock violin or rock flute as part of their standard setting. One can hear the rock violin, for instance, in Kansas’ ‘Miracle Out of Nowhere’ (particularly at the very end, where it plays an aggressive tremolo chord); the rock flute is very much a prominent part of Jethro Tull’s Thick As a Brick, e.g. in ‘Really Don’t Mind / See There a Son Is Born’. Today, bands such as Nightwish have pipes as part of their sound, the piper the past years having been a full-born member of the band
Who were the first bands/artists utilising such classical instruments in a rock setting? Specifically I am asking for those that consciously added a fourth/fifth/n-th member to their band or for single tracks, using that new instrument in a new context. Further, are there any other classical instruments that have become integral parts of art and/or prog rock?
To specify, I am not asking for those who included strings or horns overlays to their music, nor am I considering those early rock ’n’ roll bands that included the double bass or piano; those were mainly an inheritance from jazz and blues and were already well established as not just classical instruments. Classical instruments are—in this context—instruments that could be considered part of a
classical-music (as per the label) performance.
Though I am not sure of this, the piano and double-bass could perhaps be excluded in this discussion, since—as written above—they were part of the standard rock ’n’ roll bands from the get-go. However, for both of these, this might be problematic: They were both used as supporting instruments initially; the double-bass was, after all, soon replaced by first the (half-)acoustic and the electric bass guitar. It could very well be that the double-bass returned, not as a supporting accompaniment, but as a solo rock instrument much the same way as the rock violin; if so, that would be very interesting indeed. The same applies to the piano. Did it, with this art-rock and prog-rock groups find a renaissance? I do not know, and am very curious to learn.
Of course, I would welcome any suggestions towards improving this question.