Hmmmm... Dear Salpy, you got me wrong at some points. Perhaps, the reason is my poor English by which I express my thoughts. Especially where you say that Armenia is not only the Republic of Armenia etc. Pls note, I was speaking only about one region of Western Armenia and not all the regions which had their different dialects and culture, including the musical culture, of course. And I never excluded Western Armenia as being our homeland. However, unfortunately, we can't check now how in all different regions people sang, I mean the style of their singing. We have their songs recorded on sheets of paper but not the way of singing. I only know that the Armenians of Karin, say, would sing differently from those from Mush, those in Mush differently from those in Van, those in Van differently from those in Alashkert etc etc.
I know the Armenians of Istanbul not badly. And some deacons and clergy from Istanbul too. In fact, I have taught them Armenian for a short time, more than 10 years ago, when they studied here and I was in Istanbul twice. So I know the Armenians of Istanbul and I know both their knowledge and their love for the traditions of the Armenian Church etc, but what relation does it all have with the fact of being influenced by the environment in which they lived for a long time and the problem of the Turkish language? We're speaking about different things. Have you asked your deacons also about the Turkish musical modes? They know it perfectly. At least those deacons whom I know. The deacons from Istanbul will listen to an Armenian tagh and will say what Turkish mode it corresponds to. See how well they know also the Turkish music.
I know, many will not agree with my opinion which is not mine at all. In fact, I'm just repeating the opinion of some musicologists, who, of course, know about this subject more than me. And of course, there will be other specialists who will say something different. And it is our right to choose between these opinions, depending on our own logic and understanding of the matter. The fact is that all (not only Armenian) Christian nations that once were (or now are) conquered by the Arabs and/or the Turks (who, along with the Islam, are also carriers of the Arabic Islamic culture in some way) have that special Arabic-Turkish-Muslim (call it as you like) way of nasal and vibrating singing. Even the Spanish people who are both genetically, and linguistically the same race with the Italians and French, have so different, Eastern, Arabic-influenced, musical culture and style of singing from those of their European brothers of the same family. And the reason is the same: unlike their other Western European brothers, they were under the yoke of Arabs for many centuries and were influenced by the Arabic culture which formed that special Spanish musical culture. Anyone who has ears can determine that striking difference between the Spanish and the other Western European musical cultures. And could we say, it was the Spanish people that influenced the Arabs, not the contrary? It would be some very naive and not scientific opinion. However, this influence doesn't mean that the Spanish music is Arabic, right? It seems you understood the word 'influence' used by me as 'copying'. While I'm not speaking about this or that musical culture in its completeness but only about one aspect of it about which we started our discussion. I'm reminding here- it is that nasal, vibrating way of singing, full of glissandos etc, and not the songs or melodies themselves.
And what is unnatural or unjust, as it seems to you, in that the Armenian singing was influenced by the Turkish or Kurdish way of singing in those regions where the Armenians lived side by side with those nations and under their domination
(this is a very important aspect) for very long time? This is natural and even inevitable. But why do you think that this means that the other side wasn't also influenced by the Armenian culture? Have I written such a thing? Didn't we speak about that nasal, vibrating style of singing only? Yes, I believe, that that way of singing among Christians is a result of Muslim influence, whether it is Arabic, Turkish or Kurdish or I don't know what else, having as their source mainly the Arabic culture which through Islam penetrated into the cultures of those other Muslim nations. Pls count all the Christian nations that you know who have that style of singing in this or that way. You'll see that those are nations who were or are under Muslim yoke for many centuries. Do you think this is just some coincidence? And this includes our brother Copts too who have lost even their mother tongue because of that Muslim yoke. They may not agree, that's their right, of course, but here I also believe that that style of nasal and over-vibrating singing is the influence of Arabic culture. Otherwise, the Coptic musical culture is very unique and wonderful, really deserving of more study and recognition by others. And thanks God, there are, indeed, good performances of Coptic songs that I like. For example, I like many of the performances of Coptic songs by the David Ensemble in Cairo. I think, the link to their web site was placed somewhere in this thread.
I'm not sure that a pure style exists in any kind of music. Smiley No ethnic group on this planet develops its musical style entirely in a vacuum. Everyone is somehow influenced by their neighbors. However, when a group takes that influence and blends it with what they have, and makes it their own, it then becomes their own music. I'm sure that happened with the Western Armenians and their Kurdish, Turkish and Syrian neighbors. It probably happened with the Istanbul Armenians and their Greek neighbors. I would be astounded if the Eastern Armenians were not somehow influenced by their Persian neighbors. Komitas himself composed his music in a polyphonic style, and I know that polyphonic composing is not natively Armenian, but borrowed from another tradition. Yet all of this produced music that is authentically Armenian. At least that is how I see it. Smiley I know you disagree
You don't know
. I agree with these your words entirely.