Some ideas for music for a funeral or memorial

Below I have listed some ideas for music that may reflect the spirit of the deceased one, or express the feelings of the bereaved. There is no need to be constrained to use solemn music. If the deceased loved a certain song, it is  possible to play it during, or for the ending, of the service

Ideas for Music for a Funeral, Celebration of a Life, or Memorial Service

Music before the service

  • Canon - Pachelbel Pachelbel's Canon on YouTube
  • Four Seasons - Vivaldi
  • Fur Elise - Beethoven
  • Ode to Joy - Beethoven
  • Memories - from Cats
  • Let it Be - The Beatles
  • The Rose - Bette Midler
  • Unforgettable - Nat King Cole & Natalie Cole
  • Adagio in G minor - Albinoni
  • Prelude No. 1 - Villa-Lobos
  • Nocturne in E flat - Chopin
  • Adagio for Strings - Samuel Barber
  • Kind of Blue - Miles Davis
  • Intermezzo from Cavaleria Rusticana - Mascagni
  • Smile - many versions

Music for reflection

  • Shepherd Moons - Enya
  • You Raise me Up - Josh Groban  You Raise Me Up on YouTube
  • Claire de Lune - Debussy
  • All I have to Do is Dream - Everley Brothers
  • Unchained Melody - Righteous Brothers
  • Bridge Over Troubles Water - Simon & Garfunkel
  • Candle in the Wind - Elton John
  • To Where you Are - Josh Groban
  • All Things Bright and Beautiful (hymn)
  • Pathetique Sonata 2nd Movement - Beethoven
  • Moonlight Sonata 1st Movement - Beethoven
  • Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring - J.S. Bach
  • The Swan from Carnival of the Animals - Saint-Saëns
  • Pavanne - Faure
  • You'll Never Walk Alone - Gerry & the Pacemakers
  • Annie's Song - John Denver
  • Amazing Grace - choir or bagpipe

Music as the service ends

  • Time to Say Goodbye / Con Te Partiro - Sarah Brightman & Andrea Bocelli
  • Unforgettable - Nat King Cole & Natalie Cole
  • Always look on the Bright Side of Life - Monty Python
  • Amazing Grace - solo bagpipe or instrumental
  • Hallelujah - Leonard Cohen
    All Things Bright and Beautiful All things Bright and Beautiful
  • Fly - Celine Dion
  • Wind Beneath my Wings - Bette Midler
  • My Heart Will Go On - Celine Dion
  • What a Wonderful World - Louis Armstrong
  • A Kiss to Build a Dream on - Louis Armstrong
  • Somewhere Over the Rainbow/Wonderful World - Israel Kamakawiwo'ole
  • On the Road Again - Willie Nelson
  • You'll Never Walk Alone - Gerry & the Pacemakers
  • Imagine - John Lennon
  • Good Night Sweetheart - Guy Lombardo
  • I'll Be Seeing You - Bing Crosby
  • Bright eyes - Simon & Garfunkel
  • You've Got a Friend - James Taylor
  • Don't Worry Be Happy - Bobby McFerrin
  • I've Had The Time Of My Life - Jennifer Warnes & Bill Medley
  • Grieg's "Morning"Grieg's Morning on YouTube
  • Toccata - Vidor
  • We'll Keep a Welcome - Katherine Jenkins

Some ideas for music by genre

Agnus Dei, Choral Evensong for Ascension Day, Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring, I Know My Redeemer Liveth, Pie Jesu, Requiem, Johann Sebastian Bach's organ pieces, The Lord's Prayer, The Twenty-Third Psalm, When I'm Laid in Earth, St. Matthew Passion, Beethoven Symphony No, 7

Traditional Folk Songs:
Amazing Grace, Flowers of the Forest, Greensleeves, Scotland the Brave, Simple Gifts

All My Friends, Bridge over Troubled Water, Crying in the Chapel, Everything Happens for a Reason, Funeral for a Friend, Goodbye My Friend, Go Rest High on The Mountain, I'll Go to My Grave Loving You, I'll Remember You, In This Life, Knocking on Heaven's Door, The Last Song, Last Train Home, Life Is Too Short, A Little Fall of Rain, Morning Has Broken, Stairway to Heaven, Tears in Heaven, You've Got a Friend

Climb Every Mountain, Dream a Little Dream of Me, Harbour Lights, The Impossible Dream, Somewhere, Sunrise Sunset, You'll Never Walk Alone, Red Sails in the Sunset

Going Home, Light of Day, Precious Lord, Soon I Will Be Done with the Troubles of This World

Jazz & Swing:
Caravan, Come Sunday, Don't Get Around Much Any More, God Bless the Child, I'll Be Seeing You, My Way, When the Saints Go Marching In, Blue Skies,

Abide with Me, Beautiful Saviour, Because He Lives, Come Ye Disconsolate, How Great Thou Art, I Am the Bread of Life, Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee, Just a Closer Walk with Thee, A Mighty Fortress is Our God, Nearer My God to Thee, O God Our Help in Ages Past, Old Rugged Cross, On Eagle's Wings, Peace in the Valley, The Strife is O'er, the Battle Done, Shall We Gather by the River, There'll be Peace in the Valley, All Things Bright and Beautiful All things Bright and Beautiful

OTHER MUSIC - by alphabetical order
A Mothers Prayer - Celine Dion
Abide With Me
Air on a G string - J.S.Bach
Amazing Grace - Leann Rimes
Angels - Robbie Williams
Angels Brought Me Here - Guy Sebastian
As Time Goes By - Louis Armstrong
Ave Marie - Celine Dion
Be Not Afraid - John Michael Talbot
Because You Loved Me - Celine Dion
Bridge Over Troubled Water - Simon and Garfunkel
Canon - Pachelbel
Cello Concerto - Elgar
Claire de Lune - Claude Debussy
Come As You Are - John Michael Talbot
Dancing With The Angels - Monk & Neagle
Danny Boy
Don't Cry Daddy - Elvis Presley
Fields of Gold - Sting
Flower of Scotland
Fly - Celine Dion popular for infants or for Dove or Balloon release after service
From A Distance - Better Midler
Funeral March - Beethoven
Fur Elise - Beethoven
Goodbye - Lionel Richie
Goodbye's the Saddest Word - Celine Dion
Green Green Grass of Home - Tom Jones
Hallelujah "Vocal" - Mozart
He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother - The Hollies
Here I Am Lord - John Michael Talbot
Hero - Mariah Carey
I Can Feel You Drifting - Chalee Tennison
I Don't Wanna Close My Eyes - Aerosmith
I Need You - 3T
I Will Always Love You - Whitney Houston
I'll Be Missing You - Puff Daddy
In The Arms of An Angel - Sarah Mcloughlin
Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana - Pietro Mascagni 
Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring - J.S.Bach
Last Farewell - Elvis Presley
Looking Forward, Looking Back - Slim Dusty
Midnight Special - Creedence Clearwater
Morning Has Broken - Cat Stevens
Mull of Kintyre - Paul McCartney
My Heart Will Go On - Celine Dion
My Way - Frank Sinatra
New World Symphony(Going Home) - Dvorak
Nimrod - Elgar
Nocturne in E flat Major - Chopin
On Eagles Wings - Josh Groban
On The Road Again - Willie Nelson
One Sweet Day - Mariah Carey
Onward Christian Soldiers - Tennesee Ernie Ford
Piano Concerto 21 - Mozart
Precious Child - Karen Taylor
Prelude in C minor - Chopin
Psalm 23
Requiem - Berlioz
Que Sera Sera - Doris Day
Requiem -Pie Jesu - Faure
Requiem - Mozart
Sailing - Rod Stewart
Serenade for Strings - Elgar
Sheep May Safely Graze - J.S.Bach
Solveig's song -"Peer Gynt"- Grieg
Somewhere Out There - Celine Dion & Peabo Bryson
Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Eva Cassidy
Stairway To Heaven - Led Zepplin
Symphony No.6 "Pastoral" - Beethoven
Symphony No.9 "Ode to Joy" - Beethoven
Tears in Heaven - Eric Clapton
Thank You For Loving Me- Jon Bon Jovi
The Four Seasons (Winter) - Vivaldi
The Gadfly - Shostakovich
The Green Green Grass of Home - Tom Jones
The Lark Ascending - Vaughan Williams
The Last Farewell - Elvis Presley
The Londonderry Air (Danny Boy)
The Lord Is My Shepherd - John Michael Talbot
The Planets "Venus" - Holst
The Rose - Bette Midler
The Way We Were - Barbara Streisand
There You'll Be- Faith Hill
Time To Say Goodbye - Andrea Bocelli & Sarah Brightman
Unchained Melody - The Righteous Brothers
Unforgettable - Nat King Cole & Natalie Cole
Up Where We Belong - Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warne
We'll Meet Again - Vera Lynn
What a Wonderful World - Louis Armstrong
When I Die - No Mercy
When I Grow Too Old To Dream - John McDermott
Wind Beneath My Wings - Bette Midler
Wish You Were Here - Fleetwood Mac
Yesterday - The Beatles
You Are My Sunshine - Anne Murray
You Hold me Up  - Il Divo
You Raise me Up - Josh Groban
You Were Always On My Mind - Elvis Presley
You'll Be In My Heart - Phil Collins
You'll Never Walk Alone - Gerry and the Pacemakers
You're My Best Friend - Queen


These are just a few ideas.  It is worthwhile to think about music that was special to the deceased as it can make a service memorable and offer great consolation and joy to the mourners.