Funeral Music

William Ellis, Funeral procession of Keopuolani, Hawaii (1823)

On a funereal edition of this New Sounds, hear musical moods that one might not expect to be associated with a funeral from the world over, from West African funeral drumming to a jazz march from Norwegian musician Stian Carstensen.  Listen to music from Brooklyn Rider by Ljova paying tribute to the violinist from Tarafs de Haidouk, Culai.  There’s also Michael Gordon’s setting of Emily Dickinson poetry, as recorded live on Soundcheck, along with a funeral dance by Swedish jazz musician Bengt Berger’s “Bitter Funeral Beer.”  Plus, listen to the post-rock ambient duo Stars of the Lid, along with music by Henry Purcell arranged by Wendy Carlos used in “A Clockwork Orange.”  And more.

PROGRAM # 3478, Funeral Music  (First aired on 6/10/2013)                                                     





Wendy Carlos

A Clockwork Orange

Purcell/arr. Wendy Carlos: Funeral Music for Queen Mary [2:18]

East Side #ESD -81362

Philip Glass


Akhnaten: Act 1, Funeral [9:02]

Sony #62960
Available for purchase at

David Karsten Daniels & Fight the Big Bull

I Mean to Live Here Still

The Funeral Bell [2:34]

Or download from

Leah Coloff, cello
Courtney Orlando, piano
Bora Yoon, guitar & percussion Jennifer Charles, vocals


Live, on WNYC’s Soundcheck 12-08-08

Michael Gordon (text by Emily Dickinson):

I felt a funeral in my brain [4:29]

This performance not commercially available. 

Bengt Berger

Bitter Funeral Beer

Tongsi [4:57]

Funeral Dance, excerpt [6:11]

ECM #1179

Stian Carstensen

Backwards Into The Backwoods

Funeral March For A Neutered Choir Boy [5:57]

Winter & Winter 910087

Stars of the Lid


The Funeral

SOTL001 / Cobraside
Available at or download from

Brooklyn Rider

A Walking Fire

Ljova : Culai Funeral Doina (for Culai) [5:04]

Mercury Records

Ali Jihad Racy

Ancient Egypt

Funeral Procession, excerpt [1:30]

Lyrichord #7347