A distant choir singing in harmony to accompany a scene, often ACappella. This is not rhythmic like OminousLatinChanting; usually you won't hear any words because they're only singing vowel tones. The effect is general otherworldliness, and the tone can range from consoling to chilling.

This is related to the OneWomanWail, which it sometimes accompanies. See also: CreepyChildrenSinging, where creepy songs and nursery rhymes are played in the background to add tension and fear to a scene.


[[folder: Anime & Manga]]
* One of the main themes of ''Franchise/GhostInTheShell'' is a slightly dischordant choir singing a cappella.
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'' uses this with a weird electronic effect in a lot of scenes.
* Used frequently in ''Anime/LastExile'' to convey an idea of expansion/flight.
* Used in ''[[Anime/DotHackSIGN .hack//SIGN]]'' [[spoiler: once Aura awakens]].
* ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'''s opening "Cruel Angels Thesis" uses this in its iconic intro.
* In ''Anime/SailorMoonCrystal,'' a mixed-gender choir wordlessly sets the mood during dramatic or heroic scenes, ominous during villainous activity, grandiose and sweeping during Sailor Moon's {{transformation|Sequence}} and attack sequences.
* ''Anime/TenchiMuyo'' uses this for Tsunami's appearances. The song title is something of a spoiler, though: [[spoiler:"Saint Sasami"]].

* The approach to Cloud City in ''Film/StarWars: Film/TheEmpireStrikesBack''.
* When Yoda Fights Dooku in ''Film/AttackOfTheClones'' for about 20 seconds (ominous). [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BnFe6wk3gDI 1:30-1:52]]
* An absolutely epic one when the ents march to trash Isengard in ''The Two Towers'' from Creator/PeterJackson's ''Film/LordOfTheRings''.
** A part of the theme "Nature's Reclamation" used several times over the course of the movies, and is essentially this. It sounds when Théoden resolves to ride out against the Uruk-Hai at Helm's Deep, and again in ''Return of the King'' when the Eagles dive out of the sky to attack the Nazgûl.
* Parodied during Ted and Elaine's big kiss scene at the end of ''Film/{{Airplane}}'', where the choir goes horribly out of tune.
* Used fairly heavily in ''WesternAnimation/{{Coraline}}'''s [[http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=DCD67CE98D531DCE&search_query=coraline soundtrack]], to great atmospheric effect.
* An ethereal little melody is featured repeatedly on ''WesternAnimation/ThePrinceOfEgypt'' soundtrack to great effect.
* The Ark theme from ''Film/RaidersOfTheLostArk''.
* In 1951's ''Literature/AChristmasCarol'', Scrooge hears the wailing of Marley's fellow doomed spirits at the end of the latter's visit, and again later when taken to his own grave.
* A good chunk of the soundtrack in ''Film/KingdomOfHeaven'', befitting its medieval setting. Notably after [[spoiler:Baldwin dies]], a choir starts singing "Vide Cor Meum" as Jerusalem mourns.
* In ''Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey'', G. Ligeti's 'Requiem' is used with the apelike proto-humans (and later the less ape-like humans) encountering the uncomprehensible.
* In ''Film/ThePresidentsAnalyst'', the title character starts to crack up - he sees men in black suits and sunglasses ostensibly out to get him everywhere, punctuated with an alarming piece of vocalese.
* The 2009 ''Film/StarTrek'' film employs one, singing a variation of the main theme amidst the dramatic silence of space when [[spoiler: the ''Narada'' is finally being broken up and consumed by the combination of a black hole and the weapons of the ''Enterprise''.]]
* Heard in ''Film/StarTrekBeyond'' to accompany the grandeur of Starbase Yorktown.
* ''Film/{{Titanic 1997}}'' used heavily synthesized vocals to make a chorus during the sinking.
* In the original ''Film/InvadersFromMars'', a spooky choir sound accompanies the sandy ground abruptly swallowing people up - and heard in-movie by the characters.
* Jake hears one when he "sees the light" in ''Film/TheBluesBrothers''. Likewise, Cab hears the same choir when he has his epiphany in the sequel.
* One of the pieces of stock background music in ''Film/MontyPythonAndTheHolyGrail''.
* ''Film/TheWolfman2010''. This ''is'' Music/DannyElfman we're talking about, but it's not used as much as an effect compared to his other scores and is only used in a few scenes.

[[folder: Live Action TV]]
* Used at various points throughout the Music/MurrayGold scores for ''Series/DoctorWho''. Generally acting as a musical personification of Time, although this sometimes ends up as a OneWomanWail. For the Daleks it becomes [[OminousLatinChanting Ominous Hebrew Chanting]]. Notable at the end of "Gridlock", when the population of New Earth sings an ACappella version of Abide with Me.
* On ''Series/{{Glee}}'', the beginning or end of a scene or something dramatic happening is accompanied by a "doo ba doo ba doo ba doo" or "doooo-BOP"
* Part of the theme song in ''Series/PowerRangersZeo''.
-->''Zee-o goooo, Zeee-oooo!''
* In ''Series/TeenWolf'', season 1 episode 10, Co Captain, near the end, the background music of "Lose Your Soul" by Dead Man's Bones ft. the Silverlake Conservatory of Music Children's Choir is heard as various characters interact, all in a creepy, chilling way. The music's sinister tones fits the scenes well.


* A staple of Music/DannyElfman's work.
* Music/GustavHolst's ''Planets'' ends with the composition "Neptune", where an Ethereal Choir whose voices slowly fade away after the orchestra stops playing.
* The opening verse to Music/TheRollingStones' "You Can't Always Get What You Want" from ''Music/LetItBleed'' is sang like this.
* Frequently featured in Music/NoxArcana's work.
* Immediate Music's [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENzB68_HUAM Requiem Rave]] fuses fast electronic beats with a mostly female choir singing vowel tones.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AiTfBOdjj_U "Lady in Black"]] by Bad Boys Blue uses this.
* "[[Music/FoodForTheGods Welcome to my Realm]]" by Music/{{Fireaxe}} is sung by the devil, and uses an ethereal choir provided ''by the screams of the damned''.
* Music/EmilieAutumn uses this in the background track to "Goodnight Sweet Ladies". They are meant to be the girls in ''Literature/TheAsylumForWaywardVictorianGirls'' [[spoiler:who committed mass suicide]].
* Solarstone's "The Last Defeat, Part 1" and "The Last Defeat, Part 2" both feature ethereal chanting at their climaxes, along with OneWomanWail in the latter.
* Music/TheAgonist make occasional use of this, most notably one song (an a capella cover of ''Theatre/SwanLake'') which is nothing ''but'' Ethereal Choir.
* The fade-out of the Music/BlueOysterCult's ''The Golden Age Of Leather'' from ''Music/{{Spectres}}'', which is sung by a boys' choir (who incidentally provided the same ethereal singing a year or so earlier, on Music/VanMorrison's ''Snow In San Anselmo'')
* Music/{{Bjork}}: Beautifully done in a piece like "Sonnets/Unrealities XI" and "Pleasure Is All Mine" and BREATHTAKINGLY done in "Who Is It (Choir Mix)", all from ''Music/{{Medulla}''.
* Theme From Flood" from ''Music/{{Flood}}'' by Music/TheyMightBeGiants also starts of with a male and female choir singing the "theme" song" of the album.
* "The Valleys" by Music/{{Electrelane}} from the album "The Power Out" is sang by a male and female choir to the lyrics of a poem by Siegfried Sassoon.
* "I Robot", "Breakdown" and "Total Eclipse" from Music/TheAlanParsonsProject ''Music/IRobot'' are accompanied by heavenly chanting.

* Used as part of the soundtrack in ''Pinball/{{Avatar}}'

[[folder: Tabletop RPGs]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' has the choir of the astronomican that psykers and the occasional pious Space Marine can hear.

* Dreamgirls has a reoccurring chorus that chants "Showbiz, it's just showbiz" often to demonstrate that [[TruthInTelevision something behind the scenes has happend]], such as Jimmy Early getting fired, and when the Dreams get their own act as part of Curtis' plan to drop Jimmy from the label.
* Used for surreal effect in the overture to Willy Russell's stage musical ''Theatre/BloodBrothers''.
* Ravel's ballet music for ''Daphnis and Chloe'' features a wordless chorus which has an extended ACappella bit in between the first two scenes (though this can be replaced with instruments if no chorus is available).
* The scene in the musical ''Theatre/{{Brigadoon}}'' where Mr. Lundie talks about hearing voices from the outside world has an ACappella choir humming in the background.
* "Whisper" from ''Theatre/{{Amaluna}}'', used during the [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome Manipulation scene]], has New Age-style chanting.
* ''Theatre/OnAClearDayYouCanSeeForever'' has an offstage chorus calling, "Ah, Melinda!" as Daisy describes herself as Melinda boarding the doomed ship Trelawney.
* ''Theatre/TheNutcracker'' has an invisible women's or children's choir singing wordlessly in "Waltz of the Snowflakes."
* The title character in ''Theatre/{{Iolanthe}}'' revealing her identity to her mortal husband is accompanied by a chorus of other fairies singing "Aiaiah! Willaloo!" in the eeriest manner possible.
* In Puccini's operatic version of ''Theatre/TheGirlOfTheGoldenWest'', a distant male chorus hums along to Minnie's {{Leitmotif}} at the end of the first act as Johnson tells her that she has the face of an angel.

[[folder: Video Games]]
* This ost "Children of the cathedral" from the original ''{{VideoGame/Fallout}}'' sounds like a Catholic Mass, except they're worshiping pure evil instead of Jesus.
* Zora's Domain in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime''. Also, the [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=knLCbS02T1Y Final Hours]] music in ''Majora's Mask''. The Forest Temple and Stone Tower have ''ominous'' ethereal choir.
* ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'': The song "High Charity" in ''VideoGame/{{Halo 2}}''. Also used in the ''Halo 2'' version of the title theme, and "Heroes Also Fall" and "Roll Call" in ''VideoGame/{{Halo 3}}''.
* ''VideoGame/BatenKaitos'' uses this music in the Interdimensional Cracks. It's not ominous enough for OminousLatinChanting - though it borders on it. It's more there just to add drama to the idea that you're entering a different dimension.
** Choirs are also used in other songs, mostly late-game songs. Sometimes used in conjunction with OneWomanWail if something really bad's going on.
* The Enchantress Y'gael is rather annoyed at the Ethereal Choir repeating whatever she says in a sing-song tone when you encounter her in ''VideoGame/ZorkGrandInquisitor''.
* Used starkly near the end of ''VideoGame/{{Xenogears}}''.
* The music used in the main menu of ''VideoGame/NinetyNineNights'' (''N3'') counts, and also doubles as OneWomanWail.
* Along with OminousLatinChanting and OneWomanWail, ''VideoGame/{{NieR}}'''s soundtrack tends to use a lot of this (e.g. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzDx3PCbXig "Snow in Summer"]]).
* The CherubicChoir of ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiStrangeJourney'''s "Theme Of Law" was designed for the "chilling" effect, especially given the intentions of the Three Angels and Mastema for you [[spoiler:and Zelenin]].
* "Velvet Room," aka "The Poem/Aria for Everyone's Souls" in the ''VideoGame/{{Persona}}'' series (and augmented as "The Battle For Everyone's Souls" in ''VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}''), is exactly this, to enhance the otherwordly, mystical atmosphere of the Velvet Room. In the first two (three if you count both ''VideoGame/{{Persona 2}}''s) games it was explicitly sung by Igor's assistant, Belladonna, but by the time of ''VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}'' and ''[[VideoGame/{{Persona 4}} 4]]'' there was no place for the opera diva anymore.
** It also gets a [[AutobotsRockOut face-melting rocked-out version]] in ''VideoGame/Persona3'' as [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdMhTL5bZrs "The Battle For Everyone's Souls"]], with the OneWomanWail intact.
* The music [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkCb43ixP0I "Amongst The Dead"]] in ''VideoGame/MedalOfHonor: Underground'' has an ominous version of this.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSorp9x3nUE "The Judge"]], the final boss theme from ''VideoGame/{{Kamui}}'', uses this.
* ''VideoGame/GuiltyGear'' and ''VideoGame/BlazBlue'' use this along with [[OneWomanWail One-Woman Wails]] and OminousLatinChanting mainly for final boss themes like "Meet Again" and "Awakening the Chaos".
* Some themes in ''VideoGame/KoumajouDensetsu'' also use this.
* ''{{VideoGame/Rosenkreuzstilette}}'' uses Ethereal Choirs and OminousLatinChanting in songs like "Heavenly Snow Dance ~Entirely Pure~", the opening scene theme, "Dark Purple Moonlight", Grolla's stage theme, and "Last Battle ~Requiem for Myself~", the final boss theme.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPpOMxVyaIA "White Light"]] from ''VideoGame/{{Okami}}''.
* ''VideoGame/BaldursGateDarkAlliance'' has this during the [[SugarWiki/AwesomeMusic absolutely epic]] Final Boss music, in a perfect balance between grandly chilling (verges on OminousLatinChanting but without the lyrics) and heart-breaking (entirely appropriate, considering the final boss is a WellIntentionedExtremist AntiVillain bordering on WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds): [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bq-eJ9M2OIM "Last Battle"]] - [[spoiler:Eldrith the Betrayer]] (0:47 to 1:03 for the first iteration).
* Just about all the ''Franchise/DotHack'' games.
* In ''VideoGame/DarkSouls'', if the music isn't If it isn't OminousLatinChanting or a OneWomanWail, it's this. Often times OminousLatinChanting and Ethereal Choir are both present.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SrOJXS0YiEk "Rabies"]] on the soundtrack for ''VideoGame/Left4Dead'' is this, and pure undiluted terror.
* ''VideoGame/EternalDarkness'' has straight examples in "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ioMFbui8yI The Somme]]" and "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIWb3E9P6So A War To End All Wars]]".
* ''VideoGame/StarcraftII'' has this as a theme of the Protoss, as ancient, mysterious and [[PsychicPowers psionic-capable]] aliens.
* [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86f_U_q4SFg "Arthas' Theme"]] in ''Videogame/{{World of Warcraft}}'' has this.
* ''VideoGame/MetroidPrimeTrilogy'' does this in their title themes. Also, their end credits themes. The HubLevel and/or first level typically has this as well: Tallon Overworld in ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime'', Temple Grounds in ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime2Echoes'', and Bryyo Cliffside in ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime3Corruption''. The first game also has ethereal choral music in [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbbUv1hz6mE Phendrana Drifts]], the [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-kaAGIlluMQ Chozo Ice Temple]], the [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2cFIa29FXfM Chozo Artifact Temple]], and the [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=czj-x0lBAkA Hall of the Elders]].
* The [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-nF-2ySrQYU Water Dragon's theme]] from ''VideoGame/JadeEmpire''.
* ''VideoGame/{{Civilization}} 6'' has ''Sogno di Volare ("The Dream of Flight")'', a stirring paean to the achievements of mankind. It's the direct opposite of OminousLatinChanting, and *would* be an AwardBaitSong except it encapsulates the entire point of a game of Civilization-"filling the universe with wonders and glory" and "raising Man through their own aceivements" (missing the criteria of just being there to be there).
* In ''VideoGame/MarioKart64'', this appears in the themes to both Toad's Turnpike, and Bowser's Castle.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Ursula Vernon's ''Webcomic/{{Digger}}'' marks the appearance of ghosts with the sound of an ethereal choir. Because, as the author points out, "there is no feasible onomatopoeia for this," the sound is represented by the UnsoundEffect of "sounds of distant ethereal chanting!", which gradually becomes more surly as the conversation with the ghosts becomes less and less auspicious.

[[folder: Web Original]]
* ''WebAnimation/BrokenSaints'' features this in a number of pieces. Some of the pieces are original music, some are classical works, some alternate with OminousLatinChanting, and one of them does include a OneWomanWail.

[[folder: Western Animation]]
* Parodied in a later episode of ''WesternAnimation/JohnnyBravo''. The choir accompanies the appearance of a large ad that happens to be about the very thing Johnny needed the most in that particular scene. The camera then pans to slightly, [[SorryILefttheBGMOn revealing an actual church choir.]]
* "Inner Sanctum/The Nesting Grounds" from Disney's ''Disney/{{Dinosaur}}''.
* The Dazzlings' {{leitmotif}} in ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyEquestriaGirlsRainbowRocks''. They even [[MakeMeWannaShout weaponize it]] during their final battle with the Rainbooms.
* The ''[[WesternAnimation/SpongeBobSquarePants SpongeBob B.C.]]'' special has this during an OverlyLongGag where [=SpongeGar=] is coming to a realization, using quick cuts to him, the fire and some flowers while we hear a chior. This is lampshaded when the scene briefly cuts to a live-action barbershop quartet harmonizing.
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Animaniacs}}'' illuminates the local candy store with heavenly rays and an Ethereal Choir when the Warner Brothers (and the Warner Sister) set eyes on it. Immediately lampshaded by Yakko:
--> '''Yakko:''' Someday I'm gonna ''find'' those singers...
* In the [[WesternAnimation/CLassicDisneyShorts classic Disney short]], ''Disney/TheOldMill'', the howling wind that can be heard just before the big storm begins (and at one point, during the storm) is portrayed as being this.
* Happens in almost every episode of ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'' whenever Phineas says "I know what we're gonna do today".