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  • Noun




Mozart’s Requiem, or funeral music, is incredible in its ability to portray grief. This requiem, or musical piece which honored an Austrian nobleman’s wife who passed away, is one of the most popular musical pieces for a funeral ever written. In listening to the orchestral requiem or song for the dead, one is reminded of the entire spectrum of human emotion, and most listeners are moved to tears of grief.

Quiz: What is the purpose of a requiem?

  • To honor someone’s accomplishments.
  • To celebrate a national holiday.
  • To mourn someone who has died.

Memory Hook

Return to Quiet When a requiem is performed for someone, we know that he has returned to everlasting quiet because he has died.


  • The music is often fierce in its execution, but in essence it is a requiem for those who perished in that sudden inferno, and those who died trying to save them. —Rolling Stone
  • Later, the coffin rested in the glow of candles and the glare of television arc-lamps in Milan's great Gothic cathedral. After Mass, Victor de Sabata, now principal conductor at La Scala, led the Cathedral and La Scala choirs in Verdi's magnificent Requiem; it is rarely heard in church because it is considered too theatrical, but Italians knew that no other requiem could be performed for Arturo Toscanini. —TIME

Word Ingredients

re- back, again
quiet rested, stilled, calmed

A requiem is sung for those who have permanently gone to “rest,” that is, have gone “back” to the earth.

Word Theater

Mozart's Requiem Mozart's final masterpiece was commissioned by Count Franz von Walsegg.

Word Constellation