Music and grief: a case study from Chile

Sandra Garrido, Waldo Garrido

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Grief at the death of a child is amongst the most poignant experiences suffered by humankind. This article considers the interesting case of the ‘cantos de angeles’, a particular song form used for the funerals of small children in various parts of Chile. The songs were originally brought by Spanish Jesuits during the colonisation of South America. The ritual has thus been followed for centuries in parts of the country in various forms. It will be argued that the belief by the parents that they are aiding the child’s ascension to heaven makes the ritual a ‘task-based’ coping activity. The psychological function of such rituals within the grieving process will be discussed along with the loss of such strategies within the growing secularisation of Chilean society.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventNational Conference of the Musicological Society of Australia (34th : 2011) - Perth
Duration: 30 Nov 20113 Dec 2011


ConferenceNational Conference of the Musicological Society of Australia (34th : 2011)


  • grief
  • music
  • grieving process
  • funerals
  • rituals


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