Guide to Selecting Memorial Music

Music alone
with sudden charms
can bindNada's Thank You 3
The wand'ring sense,
and calm
the troubled mind. 
   ~William Congreve~

Please listen to an excerpt of Somewhere Over the Rainbow
as you peruse the page:

By Choosing Celia to Provide Live Music for Memorable Memorial Events, You:

Celia Canty plays both a Gold Symphonic Pedal Harp and the smaller Lever "Hospice" Harp

Celia Canty plays both a Gold Symphonic Pedal Harp and the smaller Lever “Hospice” Harp

  • get Celia’s expertise at crafting the perfect musical “score” to make this event of closure personally meaningful
  • add harp, with a wide range of tones & strings that seem to speak to the deepest part of your heart & soul
  • allow for spontaneity in the planning and in the moment
  • gain the sensitivity of a musician who has played for a wide variety of events and who currently plays for many in Hospice and who understands the depth of emotions present at end-of-life events
  • get her assistance in making sure the music is well chosen and appropriate to the service

Live Harp Music:

  • creates activity in the room causing those present to feel more connected to the activities of the day and to the event itself – see this wonderful blog for great reasons to have live music: Why Live Music Is Best
  • causes mourners to leave feeling better than when they arrived
  • brings solace
  • helps unlock emotions and bring clarity
  • adds dignity to the occasion
  • makes it unique and personal and thus:
  • provides those moments during which each individual may say a personal and private good-bye
  • can provide accompaniment for singing hymns, favorite songs, etc.

Here’s In the Garden, as arranged by Celia for her new CD:

As you plan for a funeral, memorial service, or celebration of life it’s good to keep in mind the following:

  • songs that were most meaningful to the person who’s died
  • songs that make *you* think of this loved one
  • songs that prompt a special time with this person
  • songs that convey a message about the feelings of those present at the ceremony
  • hymns that have personal significance
  • songs that represent a certain relationship
  • for religious services, certain songs may be traditional
    • be sure to talk to the officiant to check on appropriateness of your choices for any religious service
  • Be Sure to See the Repertoire Listing Memorial & Funeral Music
Music is the only bodiless entry into a higher world of knowledge 
which comprehends mankind, but is not comprehended by it.
From the website, it’s written so well:
“Flowers wither and are thrown away; live music remains in the mind for ever.”

“[Music] takes us into a dimension defined only by melody, pulse, rhythm and breath, in which a personal experience and response is engendered for each wife, husband, lover, parent, relative and friend.

“Sometimes a death causes such utter grief that no words are adequate.  I recall being asked to provide music for a two-year-old boy’s funeral.

“What can one do in such an appalling situation?  What can one say about such a pitifully short life?

“There was not even an organ in this church, and I remember thinking that if the parents hadn’t asked us to provide a harpist, the service would have been sadly arid and comfortless.  This proved to me that live music can help where words could only fail.

“A live performance is by its very nature a unique event, and is therefore something specifically human, precious and vital in a world which is becoming more and more fast-driven, anonymous and mechanical.

“Taking the time and trouble to arrange a private performance of a beautiful piece of music is perhaps the most special thing one can ever do for someone.

“Some people may be nervous of hiring musicians for a funeral, thinking it would be too expensive; but when set against the overall funeral expenses, the cost of booking professional musicians is not prohibitive – and as a funeral expense it may be offset against inheritance tax.”

The musician’s art is to send light into the depths of men’s hearts.
 Robert Schumann
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