Music for a funeral
A beautiful piece of music can release emotions and assists mourners with saying farewell. It also lends dignity to the occasion and makes the experience memorable for the bereaved. Let me assist you in choosing the right music for this important day.
A befitting tribute
When choosing the music for a memorial service or funeral, I ascertain the repertoire played during the ceremony to be a befitting tribute to those who have passed away whilst leaving a lasting impression with family and friends.
Whether it is a funeral or a memorial service, the right music can transform a painful ordeal into an event which will calm sorrow and bring about quiet contemplation. Clients often tell me that live music plays an important role for them at such an event and it helps them to cope with the circumstances.
Some families have very specific wishes which might not create what you consider as a suitable and ‘reflective atmosphere’. Even if you personally feel that a pop song or a classical waltz might not be suitable for a memorial service, this is definitely perfectly acceptable. Do not forget that a memorial service is held to honour those who have passed away and the music selection reflects the preferences of the deceased and/or the close family.
I have experienced funerals with an almost joyful atmosphere – where people celebrate a life well lived. In this case the music choices are almost always more ‘uplifting’. Clients who like classical music often choose composers like Mozart or Haydn as this music is easy to listen to, even for people who don’t often listen to classical music.
The Music by Cara musicians are used to playing a wide variety of music at funerals. I had requests for Whitney Houston and other pop songs, a bit of heavy metal, classical music and even some military music. It finally comes down to the wishes of the deceased and we try to honour that as much as possible!
Choosing the right ensemble
Clients often ask me to suggest appropriate instruments or ensembles for a funeral or memorial service if they don’t want to make use of only an organ. Once again, this comes down to what your personal taste is. Some clients simply don’t like the sound of an organ and prefer to listen to a string ensemble or even a combination of strings and woodwind instruments.
As an alternative, a singer can be accompanied on the organ or by a pianist (if a piano is available). Music by Cara can also provide a professional keyboard if necessary.
Many other instruments work well for a funeral service. Think of a string quartet (even for pop songs!) or perhaps a string trio with oboe or clarinet. Some clients prefer to have only woodwind instruments (bassoon, clarinet, oboe, flute) and other prefer brass players (trumpet, trumbone, tuba, etc.). I have to admit that a woodwind quintet is a beautiful alternative.
A solo cello is also very effective and could be combined with a violin to form a duo if needed. A solo trumpet works especially well for an outside ceremony, including a ceremony at a forest cemetry.
Sometimes musicians are asked to play at an urn interment ceremony or at the graveside and typically, the ceremony takes place outside. In this case, the musicians (and very important, the instruments!) should be protected from rain or sunshine. I have been to most of the cemeteries in and around Wiesbaden and Frankfurt (including forest cemetries) and I will gladly coordinate this detail with the funeral director of your choice.
What are the costs?
The cost of funeral music depends on how many musicians are involved, how many pieces are played and the length of the service. Please contact me here for a non-comittal quote.
Some advice that normally works well for my clients:
- It’s best not to have too much music or to expect people to sit and listen to long pieces of music. I also suggest that you don’t choose musical pieces that are too complicated to listen to. This might upset some of the guests and make them feel uncomfortable.
- Two or three short pieces at the most would be appropriate for a thirty-minute ceremony. Should you prefer a singer, one or two pieces are typically sung.
Taking the time to arrange a live performance of a beautiful piece of music is perhaps one of the most extraordinary things to be done for a loved one. My musicians find it highly rewarding to play or sing at funerals because it is here where the consolation of music is undoubtedly needed, no matter in which form it is offered.
You can rest assured that, no matter which instrument or ensemble you choose, the musicians will provide a suitable atmosphere.