Funeral Music

Historically, many forms of popular and art music have been intended for usage at funerals and ceremonies for the dead. An example of this is the tombeau, a sort of musical composition mourning the death of a notable individual, which had its origins in France. Similar to the tombeau is the dirge, a lament song usually performed during the service for the dead. Arguably the most popular form of funeral music in Western music is the musical setting of the Requiem. The Requiem, or Mass for the Dead, is a ritual in the Catholic Church, often but not always celebrated in the context of a funeral, and meant to offer repose to the souls of the deceased and peace to their beloved ones. The Requiem Mass has inspired a great number of musical compositions, including settings by names such as Mozart, Verdi, Faure, etc. The dramatic character of the Requiem Mass text and ritual, and its structure, allow for the creation of monumental orchestral and choral works, which are nowadays performed outside liturgical context.

Composers