Music at the End of Life
Easing the Pain and Preparing the Passage
by Jennifer L. Hollis
April 2010, 153pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-0-313-36220-0
$64, £48, 54€, A92
eBook Available: 978-0-313-36221-7
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

The belief in the healing power of music dates back to antiquity. Today, the concept is widely accepted in the United States, and finds perhaps its most profound practical application with patients at the end of their lives, when practitioners bridging medicine, music, and spiritual care offer symptom relief and support to dying patients and their families.

A practicing music thanatologist provides an insider's history of this remarkable profession, which combines music, medicine, and spirituality to help the terminally ill and their families face the end of life.

Reflecting on the author’s experiences as a music-thanatologist, Jennifer Hollis’s Music at the End of Life: Easing the Pain and Preparing the Passage is an enlightening and emotional examination of the ways in which the experience of dying can be transformed with music.

Music at the End of Life highlights the unique role music has come to play in hospice and palliative medicine. Jennifer Hollis interweaves narrative memoir, the personal experiences of fellow music-thanatologists and caregivers, and extensive research to demonstrate the transformative power of music when curing is no longer an option. Through story after unforgettable story, Hollis offers a new vision of end-of-life care, in which music creates a beautiful space for the work of letting go, grieving, and saying goodbye.


  • The bibliography includes material from the fields of anthropology, hospice, and palliative medicine and music therapy
  • A comprehensive index
Jennifer Hollis is a music-thanatologist at the Lahey Clinic Medical Center in Burlington, MA, and is the president of the Music-Thanatology Association International. She received a master of divinity degree from Harvard Divinity School.


"Superbly organized, informed and informative. . . .an especially recommended addition to academic library Psychology/Psychiatry and Health/Medicine reference collections, as well as the supplemental reading lists of both professionals and non-special general readers with an interest in end-of-life issues."—Midwest Book Review, May 1, 2010
By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.
Accept All Cookies | Decline.