Sergey & Lusine Khachatryan MY ARMENIA Dedicated to te 100th Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide

Like for every nation, the space in which the musical Armenian culture developed corresponds to the nation’s development itself. According to some scientists, Armenians’ attested origins are dated from the second millenary B.C. The history of musical Armenian culture can be divided in two big categories: traditional and artistic music. Until the middle of the 19th century, traditional Armenian music used to be monodic in its whole. This monadic Armenian music can also be divided in three other categories: popular traditional music, traditional professional music, known as the Gusans’ or Aschughens’ art (Armenian equivalent for troubadours), and at last the artistic professional Middle Ages music, spiritual music or religious vocal art in Armenia. In the middle of the 19th century appear the first musical artistic works from Armenian composers. In the second half of this century, bases and specificities of the artistic Armenian music start to become important, freed from the European influence and reinforced through Armenia’s wish to be independent. These problems touching the Armenian culture have been resolved by Komitas Vardapet, who made traditional and religious Armenian music the frame of the artistic Armenian music. Komitas Vardapet (1869 – 1935) is therefore considered the founder of the national Armenian composition school.
Komitas Vardapet (his religious name; his civil name was Soghomon Soghomonian) was a composer, musician, ethnologist, music specialist, pedagogue, choir leader, singer and poet. He was formed at the Georgian seminary of Edchmiatzin (the siege of the Armenian Church). He then studied from 1896 to 1900 in Berlin in the Richard Schneider conservatory and at the imperial Friedrich Wilhelm University (now Humboldt University). He is one of the founders of the Berlin branch of the Internationale musicology society. In Berlin, Paris, or Vienna, he played several times for concerts and scientific conferences. In 1915 starts the Armenian genocide and Komitas Vardapet is deported with a group of intellectual Armenians from Istanbul to the Syrian Desert. Through the intervention of foreign artists and intellectuals he escapes deportation; but right after, abominations he saw during the deportation and he felt with his whole body, started a very hard crisis for him. He dies in 1935 in Paris. (naïve)

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