Quiz: Oh, the drama: songs of death and dying

by Jodi Gustafson, Minnesota Public Radio
October 29, 2012

ST. PAUL, Minn. — We're fast approaching the Halloween/All Saints' Day/All Souls' Day celebrations... which got me thinking about the music surrounding death and dying.

Death is a vast, unknowable-yet-deeply-felt subject, and so it has inspired a broad sweep of powerful musical experiences that express the mystery, loss, and the lingering grief that come with death. Underlying all this music is story: the composers' experiences and innovations, the texts of the works, and the contexts in which they are performed.

So, Singing Geek that I am, went looking for the stories of some of the great songs of death and dying. I've put together this brief quiz for those of you who are also inclined to find a bit more story behind the story you're singing. Sharpen your #2 pencils, friends; here we go!

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