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A coronach (also written coranich, corrinoch, coranach, cronach, etc.) is the Scottish Gaelic equivalent of the Goll,[1] being the third part of a round of keening, the traditional improvised singing at a death, wake or funeral in the Highlands of Scotland and in Ireland.[2] Though observers have reported hearing such songs in Ireland or in the Scottish Highlands, and melodies have been noted down and printed since the 18th century, audio recordings are rare; not only was the practice dying out or being suppressed through the 19th century, but it was also considered by its practitioners to have been a very personal and spiritual practice, not suitable for performance or recording.

The Scottish border ballad The Bonny Earl of Murray is supposedly composed in the tradition of the coronach.

Schubert's Opus 52 No 4 (D 836) set words from Sir Walter Scott's Lady of the Lake under the title Coronach, for female choir with piano accompaniment.

In popular culture[edit]


  1. ^ Purser, John (1981). Scotland's Music. Mainstream. pp. 296–7. 
  2. ^ Ó Madagáin, Breandán (2005). Caointe agus Seancheolta Eile / Keening and other old Irish music. Cló Iar-Chonnachta. pp. 14 & 84.