Mortality and Music

Mortality and Music: Popular Music and the Awareness of Death

by Christopher Partridge

Christopher Partridge is Professor of Religious Studies in the Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion at Lancaster University, UK. Recent publications include The Occult World (2014, ed.,), The Lyre of Orpheus: Popular Music, the Sacred and the Profane (2013), Dub in Babylon (2010), and Holy Terror: Understanding Religion and Violence in Popular Culture (2010, ed.,). He is co-editor of Bloomsbury Studies in Religion and Popular Music. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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Bloomsbury Academic, 2015
  • DOI:
  • ISBN:
    978-1-4725-3451-4 (hardback)

    978-1-4725-2680-9 (epdf)

    978-1-4725-2720-2 (epub)

    978-1-4742-1919-8 (online)
  • Edition:
    First edition
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  • Published Online:
Mortality and Music
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The evidence of death and dying has been removed from the everyday lives of most Westerners. Yet we constantly live with the awareness of our vulnerability as mortals. Drawing on a range of genres, bands and artists, Mortality and Music examines the ways in which popular music has responded to our awareness of the inevitability of death and the anxiety it can evoke. Exploring bereavement, depression, suicide, violence, gore, and fans’ responses to the deaths of musicians, it argues for the social and cultural significance of popular music’s treatment of mortality and the apparent absurdity of existence.