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Jan Kochanowski with his dead daughter in a painting by Jan Matejko inspired by the poet's Threnodies

A threnody is a wailing ode, song, hymn or poem of mourning composed or performed as a memorial to a dead person. The term originates from the Greek word θρηνῳδία (threnoidia), from θρῆνος (threnos, "wailing") and ᾠδή (oide, "ode"),[1][2] the latter ultimately from the Proto-Indo-European root *h₂weyd- ("to sing") that is also the precursor of such words as "ode", "tragedy", "comedy", "parody", "melody" and "rhapsody".

Synonyms include "dirge", "coronach", "lament" and "elegy". The Epitaphios Threnos is the lamentation chanted in the Eastern Orthodox Church on Holy Saturday. John Dryden commemorated the death of Charles II of England in the long poem Threnodia Augustalis, and Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote a "Threnody" in memory of his son.[3]


In jazz:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Oxford Companion to Music (2010)
  2. ^ "Threnody". Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  3. ^ Grove Music Online (2010)
  4. ^ Foundation, Poetry (January 28, 2022). "Threnody for a Brown Girl by Countee Cullen". Poetry (magazine).
  5. ^ Pierce, Peter (2002). "Australian and American literature of the Vietnam War" in Australia's Vietnam War, p. 132. Texas A&M University Press. ISBN 1585441376
  6. ^ Threnody
  7. ^ Rodda, Richard E. "Notes on the Program" (PDF). Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-06-30. Retrieved 2015-06-06.
  8. ^ Bright Sheng (2002). Orchestral Works. Naxos.
  9. ^ Peretz, Maya (1993). "In Search of the First Polish Woman Author". The Polish Review. 38 (4): 470.
  10. ^ Krikorian, Dave. "Morgan, Lee (Edward Lee)". Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians. Archived from the original on 2013-10-14. Retrieved 2013-09-30.


  • Marcello Sorce Keller, "Expressing, Communicating, Sharing and Representing Grief and Sorrow with Organized Sound (Musings in Eight Short Sentences)", in Stephen Wild, Di Roy, Aaron Corn, and Ruth Lee Martin (eds.), Humanities Research: One Common Thread the Musical World of Lament, Australian National University, Vol. XIX (2013), no. 3, 3–14.

External links[edit]

  • The dictionary definition of threnody at Wiktionary