A threnody is a song, hymn or poem of mourning composed or performed as a memorial to a dead person. The term originates from the Greek word threnoidia, from threnos "wailing" and oide "ode",[2] the latter ultimately from the Proto-Indo-European root *wed- ("to speak") that is also the precursor of such words as "ode", "tragedy", "comedy", "parody", "melody" and "rhapsody".

Synonyms include "dirge", "coronach", "lament" and "elegy". The Epitaphios Threnos is the lamentation chanted in the Eastern Orthodox Church on Holy Saturday. John Dryden commemorated the death of Charles II of England in the long poem Threnodia Augustalis, and Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote a "Threnody" in memory of his son.

Examples of threnody

Some classic jazz threnodies are: