Think back to some of the most dramatic scenes in film history — from The Lion King, The Shining, It’s a Wonderful Life.
Besides being sad or scary, they have something else in common: the dies irae. “Dies irae” translates from Latin to “Day of Wrath” — it’s a 13th-century Gregorian chant describing the day Catholics believe God will judge the living and the dead and send them to heaven or hell.
And it was sung during one specific mass: funerals.
Check it out:
Even more via Alex Ludwig via the Berklee School of Music: