An Investigation of Music as a response to Grief




Tateossian-Zortian, Matthew

Access rights

Worldwide access

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Music is a gift from God. It can be used to express a wide range of emotions, from joy to despair. Music is particularly helpful in processing the complex and difficult emotions that come with the death of a loved one. This thesis will investigate three examples of this. First, I examine how David, a skilled artist, poet, and composer in the ancient world, expresses grief over the losses of loved ones in his life. Then, I discuss how Jimmy Greene, modern composer and jazz musician, came to terms with the tragic loss of his daughter in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Finally, I present one of my own compositions, an arrangement of Be Thou My Vision for violin and piano, written in memory of my friend David Grotberg. My arrangement was played privately for his parents during a time of remembrance and celebration of his life.