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Author Topic: Oriental Orthodox Music  (Read 139537 times) Average Rating: 5
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Salpy
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« Reply #270 on: May 23, 2009, 03:11:45 PM »

Another beautiful Ethiopian mezmur:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ii6JXWmKJG8
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« Reply #271 on: June 07, 2009, 01:44:11 AM »

Thought i'd make mention here of the recent updates to www.erkohet.com relevant to this thread:

The first stanza + chorus of a Coptic Pentecost hymn, Asomen To Kyrio, chanted in Greek, followed by Coptic, followed by English, is available for download here.

An explanation of and contemplation on the prolonged vowel intonations unique to Coptic chant is provided here.
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« Reply #272 on: June 15, 2009, 10:00:15 PM »

Awesome Coptic hymn, Ti met esnouti:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IsyqKTOhm8
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« Reply #273 on: June 16, 2009, 12:20:44 AM »

I didn't know ethiopians did zagrouta.

Do other non african orientals do zagrouta? I know georgians and armenians don't.

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« Reply #274 on: June 16, 2009, 12:45:19 AM »

I'm afraid I don't know what zagrouta is.  Could you explain?
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« Reply #275 on: June 16, 2009, 01:12:22 AM »

Dear Salpy,

Zagrouta is the sound women do to celebrate, like a very fast rololololololololiiiiiiiii, like the one you can hear in the ethiopian song posted in here.

Zagrouta is common in middle east, northern africa, and other african regions.

I'm so glad you didn't hear me trying to do the zagrouta, I can't, and it's very unbefitting for a man to do that.
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« Reply #276 on: June 16, 2009, 01:14:46 AM »

Oh, I know what you are talking about now.   Smiley  Thanks.
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« Reply #277 on: June 16, 2009, 08:26:36 AM »

I didn't know ethiopians did zagrouta.

Do other non african orientals do zagrouta? I know georgians and armenians don't.



If I correctly understood what zagrouta is, then I have heard something like that in the Coptic church. It was a consecration of some girls as 'sisters' in a Coptic monastery (not yet nuns). I was unprepared and suddenly I hear that zagroutta, like some voice of strong alarm. I became very confused and frightened, I thought, 'What happened, what happened?'  Cheesy. Then they explained to me that it was a way to express their joy and congratulate the sisters.  Smiley
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« Reply #278 on: June 16, 2009, 08:51:39 AM »

Awesome Coptic hymn, Ti met esnouti:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IsyqKTOhm8


Dear Salpy. Are you an Armenian from Istanbul? Sorry for this silly question  Smiley. Because I was unable to listen to that hymn; it was like my ears were sawed.  I have listened to much better performances of Coptic hymns. The Armenians in Armenia are not able to listen to such songs. I have some mp3 files, better performances of Coptic hymns, kindly sent to me by a Coptic brother, I like most of them, but even they were rejected by our listeners, when I asked that they might be broadcast through some Christian radio here, in Armenia Sad. Even the very small vibration that exists in the singing of the Turkish Armenians or Greeks is not 'understood' here. They think it's a Muslim style and that it is acceptable only in folk music but not church hymns. So usually only the performances of Armenian and Russian choirs are broadcast here (I mean the church songs, performed by them).

Some Coptic hymns have really wonderful melodies, there are some nice Coptic Alleluias that I have listened to, but when they are performed in the Coptic style, those beautiful melodies just lose their beauty in the unprepared ears of foreigners, because not every ear is, or can be, accustomed to it.

Well, our brother EA knows that there is some theology hidden behind it Smiley. However, it's not for all ears. Pity for those beautiful melodies to not reach to many ears because of that unique style. Sad Because I wished that much more people knew Coptic hymns.
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« Reply #279 on: June 16, 2009, 11:36:55 AM »

I was born and raised in Los Angeles, which means I grew up hearing a little bit of everything. 

We have deacons from Istanbul at our church.  They are very knowledgeable about the old ways of doing the chants, at least from a Western Armenian standpoint.  I know in Armenia and Iran it is probably different.  I know what you mean about the Middle Eastern sound of the way the Istanbul Armenians do it.  However, I have been told that such a way of singing is really originally Christian, and that the Arabs and Turks borrowed from us.

I know the sound of the Coptic chanting is very different from what we are used to in our Church, but I really like it.  It's very ancient, and I find it deeply spiritual.  Last Saturday, I was at a Coptic Monastery which is about two hours outside of Los Angeles, and I bought a CD of Coptic hymns.  I've been listening to it in my car, and I really love it.

Regarding the zaghrouta, I've heard it at a Coptic baptism.  It's a sound made to express happiness.

The only time I've heard Armenians do it was at a party I went to some years ago, that was thrown by some Armenians I knew from Beirout.  A lot of people were drunk and we were dancing the shoorch bar and all of a sudden everyone around me was making that sound.  It wasn't a religious context, of course.  People were just drunk.   Smiley


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« Reply #280 on: June 16, 2009, 11:53:51 AM »

Yes, I understand you. The Armenians may be different, I mean, they may have different tastes in music etc. I love the church songs of Syrians. They are so like the Armenian folk songs. Sometimes I want to cry when I listen to those Syriac simple songs.

I discovered that their songs are very like our folk songs while being in Egypt. I was there for a long time, among the Coptic Christians and far from the Armenians. One day a Syriac priest with some other servants and singers came to us and offered a Liturgy in a Coptic church, but, of course, according to the Syriac rite. I wasn't impressed by the Liturgy. But when it was over and almost everyone had left the church, those Syrian singers, they were 2 or 3 ladies, started to sing some songs in Syriac. I can't explain what happened to me at that time. Those songs were so like our folk songs and I had so much missed my country and people that I started to cry like a child. The tears fell down from my eyes like rain. It was as if some wind from Armenian mountains came to me through that singing.

Now I have some mp3 files- Syriac songs. And one of them has completely the same melody as one of our national songs!!!  Smiley
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« Reply #281 on: June 16, 2009, 10:10:14 PM »

Awww vasnTearn! I can imagine how you felt. ehehehhehe

First time I heard a Georgian Oriental Orthodox service, I got very scared, I wasn't expecting such a loud service. Here is an example of what I'm talking about:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtEtNpuohLs&NR=1






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« Reply #282 on: June 16, 2009, 10:51:57 PM »

That was beautiful.

The Georgians, by the way are no longer Oriental Orthodox.  They accepted Chalcedon in the early 600's. 
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« Reply #283 on: June 17, 2009, 04:26:36 AM »

Awww vasnTearn! I can imagine how you felt. ehehehhehe

First time I heard a Georgian Oriental Orthodox service, I got very scared, I wasn't expecting such a loud service. Here is an example of what I'm talking about:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtEtNpuohLs&NR=1


Well, I don't know how you imagined that Smiley. Because the Georgian singing was very nice and I liked it. If it is very loud, you can make the volume of the sound lower, that's very simple  Wink. Besides, as Salpy already mentioned, they are not Oriental, but Eastern Orthodox.
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« Reply #284 on: June 17, 2009, 11:09:32 PM »

Salpy a large group of georgians, but not all, there is still the Georgian Oriental Orthodox Church (non chalcedonian).

vasnTearn It's impossible to moderate the volume in a real life church service.

I like georgian style chants, as a matter of fact, I can chant like that very well, but as a child, you get scared with loud sounds.

This is a family story that I've heard over, and over again, actually I remember vaguely that I got scared, but my mother is the one who tells me the whole story in detail. She took me to the wedding of her georgian friends when I was 3 years old and.......

Some relatives jokingly tell me "ohhhh so that's why you're so good at it, it scared you so much, that you do it over and over again, so it doesn't scare you ever again".












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« Reply #285 on: June 18, 2009, 10:34:45 PM »

A tangent on the Oriental Orthodox in Georgia and the Georgian Church was split off and put here:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,21895.0.html
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« Reply #286 on: June 23, 2009, 03:25:34 AM »

I think I've posted this hymn before (post 143) but this version of it is so lovely I just had to link it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vaqHaA-PlO4&feature=channel

I think it is the Coptic hymn for Good Friday.

The guy who made the video seems to have made videos for many different Orthodox traditions.  Very nice.
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« Reply #287 on: June 24, 2009, 11:57:02 PM »

Some lovely singing in a Coptic church in Zambia:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=or-vTilWBWM
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« Reply #288 on: June 25, 2009, 07:30:39 AM »

The Armenian Liturgy (arranged by Komitas Vardapet), sung by the choir Hover.

http://www.araratian-tem.am/liturgy.php?id=11&lang=E


The Liturgy starts from the hymn 'O Mystery deep' which they have put as the first track of the second part section, strangely. Then follow that track.
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« Reply #289 on: June 25, 2009, 10:27:55 PM »

The Armenian Liturgy (arranged by Komitas Vardapet), sung by the choir Hover.

http://www.araratian-tem.am/liturgy.php?id=11&lang=E


The Liturgy starts from the hymn 'O Mystery deep' which they have put as the first track of the second part section, strangely. Then follow that track.


That's an amazing website.  I had never seen it before.  Thank you.   Smiley
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« Reply #290 on: July 04, 2009, 05:29:57 PM »

Indian Orthodox prayers in Dallas Texas, during the visit of their new metropolitan there, H.G. Alexios Mar Eusebius:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WoEI26WFOmc&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Eyoutube%2Ecom%2Fuser%2Fmalankaraorthodox71&feature=player_profilepage
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« Reply #291 on: July 05, 2009, 03:30:18 PM »

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIad6wy-SOY

^Just....wow...
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« Reply #292 on: July 06, 2009, 11:38:07 AM »

^ That is the sort of "Istanbul" way of singing that vasnTearn referred to in post 278.

It's very ancient and I really love it.  I heard it as a kid and I have memories of my grandpa singing his prayers that way.  To me it's deeply spiritual. 
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« Reply #293 on: July 07, 2009, 05:45:08 AM »

^ That is the sort of "Istanbul" way of singing that vasnTearn referred to in post 278.


 Grin You are right, Salpy. The man there sings very heartily. That's a great plus and I really appreciate such singing. But if he made less Turkish 'movements' with his voice, or 'moved' it in an Armenian way, as, say, Komitas Vardapet would do, it would be even better.

Some people don't distinguish between those vibration-styles, while they can be Turkish, Arabic, Coptic, Armenian, Romanian, Spanish etc etc. The Armenian natural singing is also not European and I don't like when our songs are performed in thoroughly European style or accent. To my ears, some priests in our churches sing even better than many professional singers.

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« Reply #294 on: July 07, 2009, 11:48:21 AM »

But if he made less Turkish 'movements' with his voice, or 'moved' it in an Armenian way, as, say, Komitas Vardapet would do, it would be even better.

I know the deacons at my church would argue with you over whether this style was really Turkish or Armenian.   Grin  They would argue that it is really an ancient Armenian style of singing and that the Turks copied it.  I wonder if someone has done a study on it.

Komitas Vardapet is awesome.  I think I read somewhere that he was basing his arrangements on a style of liturgical singing that came from the Armenian community in Iran.  Do you know what I am talking about, or am I totally confused about this?  Of course I can't recall where I read this and I could be remembering it wrong.  Do you know what his influences were? 
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« Reply #295 on: July 07, 2009, 12:57:07 PM »

But if he made less Turkish 'movements' with his voice, or 'moved' it in an Armenian way, as, say, Komitas Vardapet would do, it would be even better.

I know the deacons at my church would argue with you over whether this style was really Turkish or Armenian.   Grin  They would argue that it is really an ancient Armenian style of singing and that the Turks copied it.  I wonder if someone has done a study on it.


Dear Salpy
One of the main concerns of Komitas Vardapet was just that the Armenians in many places sang in Turkish or Kurdish styles and he always showed his disrespect towards it. And, of course, he did studies on this subject.

I know that some people, as the deacons of your church do, would argue over this style, whether it's Turkish, or the Turks have borrowed it from us. But I prefer to believe such specialists in Armenian music, as Komitas. When one listens to his own singing, one sees how his style is different from the style of, say, that performance of 'Amen hayr surp'. Komitas would never sing like that. I have some pm3 files of his performances of folk songs, recorded perhaps in 1915. The quality is not good, of course, but one is able to understand what and how is sung. I can send them to you, if you don't have them.

This refers not only to the church singing, but also folk songs, generally to all kinds of Armenian music. Have you listened to Hayrik Muradyan's performances of both folk and other kinds of Armenian songs? His singing is really Armenian. I like him so much. Neither Turkish or Kurdish, nor artificial European-opera kind performance. I mention the folk songs, because one expects to hear that Turkish style more in them than in church songs. But if even the folk songs can be performed in non-Turkish way, then how much more the sacred music.
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« Reply #296 on: July 07, 2009, 01:36:18 PM »

But if he made less Turkish 'movements' with his voice, or 'moved' it in an Armenian way, as, say, Komitas Vardapet would do, it would be even better.

I know the deacons at my church would argue with you over whether this style was really Turkish or Armenian.   Grin  

The first half quite reminiscent of some Byzantine hymnography.
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« Reply #297 on: July 07, 2009, 02:00:55 PM »

artificial European-opera kind performance.

I know what you are talking about.  I've heard choirs, as well as individual performers, do this to our liturgical music.  It is absolutely awful.

With regard to the Istanbul style, I guess you and the BoghsaHye deacons will just have to agree to disagree.   Smiley  You are right that Komitas didn't use that style.  However, our deacons and other like them must have their reasons for using it preserving it.
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« Reply #298 on: July 07, 2009, 02:07:50 PM »

But if he made less Turkish 'movements' with his voice, or 'moved' it in an Armenian way, as, say, Komitas Vardapet would do, it would be even better.

I know the deacons at my church would argue with you over whether this style was really Turkish or Armenian.   Grin  

The first half quite reminiscent of some Byzantine hymnography.

Really?  I actually know very little about EO liturgical music.  I've mostly been exposed to it through the OCA, and I know that would be different from what the Greeks use.  I'm curious as to how the Greek liturgical music would compare to the style in that particular Armenian hymn posted by EA.
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« Reply #299 on: July 07, 2009, 02:19:03 PM »

Really?  I actually know very little about EO liturgical music.  I've mostly been exposed to it through the OCA, and I know that would be different from what the Greeks use.  I'm curious as to how the Greek liturgical music would compare to the style in that particular Armenian hymn posted by EA.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AptfaqIHz2c

I suppose you might want to move this since the thread is about OO music.
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« Reply #300 on: July 07, 2009, 02:21:25 PM »

I won't move it.  It's too beautiful.   Smiley

Also, it does resemble the kind of chant the deacons at my church do.  Something that I notice especially is the way the others are doing a kind of humming to accompany the chanting.  The deacons at our church will sometimes do that.
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« Reply #301 on: July 07, 2009, 02:26:09 PM »

Something that I notice especially is the way the others are doing a kind of humming to accompany the chanting.  The deacons at our church will sometimes do that.

That's a feature of all Byzantine music. It is called the "ison", a word you have probably encountered elsewhere on oc.net. In the Armenian Church, is this a feature of the "Istanbul" way of singing you described earlier? If yes, perhaps it is an EO influence rather than a Turkish one?
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« Reply #302 on: July 07, 2009, 04:36:27 PM »

Something that I notice especially is the way the others are doing a kind of humming to accompany the chanting.  The deacons at our church will sometimes do that.

That's a feature of all Byzantine music. It is called the "ison", a word you have probably encountered elsewhere on oc.net.

I've seen that word used here and I never connected it to what the deacons at my church do.  There's probably an Armenian word for it, but I wouldn't know it.

Quote
In the Armenian Church, is this a feature of the "Istanbul" way of singing you described earlier?


All I know is that it is done that way at my church.  You hear it mostly during matins, etc. when there is no organ playing.  I don't know how universal it is among the Armenians.  Perhaps vasnTearn can tell us if she hears it in Armenia.

Quote
If yes, perhaps it is an EO influence rather than a Turkish one?

I'm afraid the deacons at my church would probably insist that it is an Armenian thing, and that the EO's copied us.    Cheesy Grin
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« Reply #303 on: July 07, 2009, 05:14:12 PM »

Given the close historical ties between the Armenian and Syrian Orthodox Churches, perhaps the adoption by the former of the style of chant in question is the result of the latter's influence?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjDJAkHnPQg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pIU-0VOwRow

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« Reply #304 on: July 07, 2009, 05:22:49 PM »

I would say the Greek style linked by Orthodox11 sounds a little closer to what I hear at my church.  Still, I am sure that given the historical ties, there is an influence going back and forth between the Armenians and Syriac Christians as well.
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« Reply #305 on: July 07, 2009, 05:35:21 PM »

Given the close historical ties between the Armenian and Syrian Orthodox Churches, perhaps the adoption by the former of the style of chant in question is the result of the latter's influence?

I've heard a lot of Armenian chant that sounds very Syrian. But the particular hymn you linked to sounded more Byzantine than Syrian, and if it's a style unique to Armenians in Constantinople that seems just as plausable.
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« Reply #306 on: July 08, 2009, 09:03:49 AM »

You are right that Komitas didn't use that style.  However, our deacons and other like them must have their reasons for using it preserving it.

Of course, and their reason is being from Istanbul or, through parents, bearing the Istanbul culture. It's in their heart, mind, thinking, in their tastes. If they were from Armenia, they would be bearers of another cultural influence. But let's not forget that Istanbul wasn't and isn't Armenia, it's not the land of our fathers, we were arrivals there, as the Turks themselves. A human being as a cultural being is a product of the cultural environment in which he or she lives. And in that environment all the traditions influence each other. If somewhere the Turks, Greeks and Armenians lived in great numbers together, it is almost an inevitable reality that they influenced each other. That's natural. But it is very difficult to correctly determine what was borrowed from whom. I would not believe that only the Turks borrowed from Byzantians and the latter themselves were not influenced by the Turkic culture, and vice-versa. The same concerns the Armenians living among them. However, when determining what is more Armenian (I say more, but not thouroghly), it is better to find it in Armenia, in the historical homeland of Armenians where they lived for thousands of years, and not outside of Armenia, in the territories of others.

Just compare the architecture of the Armenian churches of Istanbul with that of Armenia. The Armenian churches of Istanbul are not Armenian in their appearance, it's so clear even from the first glance. They are more of Byzantine style. If I'm not mistaken, only one and the oldest Armenian church of Istanbul was built in the Armenian style.

Also, take the factor of the language. Already in the 19th century many Armenians outside historical Armenia, in other places of Anatolia, spoke Turkish. The same is unfortunately true about the Armenians of Istanbul of today. Most of them today speak to each other in Turkish, not Armenian. They know very little Armenian. I don't mean all of them, of course, but the majority. And since the language is also a way of thinking, those who speak Turkish or hear mostly the Turkish language everywhere, have a way of thinking different from the thinking of those who always speak and hear everywhere Armenian. And this can't but influence on their musical thinking too.

As for those Syriac songs, they are not like the Armenian church songs but the Armenian folk songs of mainly Sasun, Mush and surrounding regions, and they are like the Kurdish songs too. Again the same phenomenon. Where the Kurds, Armenians and Syrians lived together, they produced songs with similar melodies or sang in similar way. Now the Armenians of Armenia sing those same or similar melodies in some other, more 'polished' style. Because now they don't live among Kurdish majority. However, in the past, even the generation of my grandparents, would sing those Armenian songs like the Kurds. I remember my grandpa who sang in that manner, and his parents and all the inhabitants of our village were refugees of 1915 from Western Armenia, from a region near Sasun where they lived among Kurdish majority.

The Armenians of Russia and those who live in Armenia but are Russianized, preferring speaking Russian instead of their own tongue, will have some other thinking and tastes, of course also in music. So they will perform the Armenian church songs in some artificial 'Western', opera style, and pronouncing the Armenian words in some Russian accent. We can still see this in Armenia, unfortunately. These are mostly some professional musicians with Russian education.

I'm still in search of the pure Armenian style in singing the church songs. When I find it, I'll share my happiness with you, Salpy  Cheesy
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« Reply #307 on: July 08, 2009, 10:32:41 PM »

However, when determining what is more Armenian (I say more, but not thouroghly), it is better to find it in Armenia, in the historical homeland of Armenians where they lived for thousands of years, and not outside of Armenia, in the territories of others.

That includes Western Armenia (now Eastern Turkey) from where your grandparents and mine came.  What is today the Republic of Armenia is not the only historical homeland of the Armenians.

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Also, take the factor of the language. Already in the 19th century many Armenians outside historical Armenia, in other places of Anatolia, spoke Turkish. The same is unfortunately true about the Armenians of Istanbul of today. Most of them today speak to each other in Turkish, not Armenian. They know very little Armenian. I don't mean all of them, of course, but the majority. And since the language is also a way of thinking, those who speak Turkish or hear mostly the Turkish language everywhere, have a way of thinking different from the thinking of those who always speak and hear everywhere Armenian. And this can't but influence on their musical thinking too.

Actually, there is a large Istanbul Armenian population in my church, and they all speak both Armenian and Turkish.  Some of them read and write Turkish better than Armenian, but they all speak Armenian, and many also read and write it.  In the Los Angeles community, the Armenians from Istanbul are looked upon as being among the most knowledgeable with regard to our liturgical traditions, including chant.  Our archbishop last year recognized them for this at an event to honor their contributions to our community.

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As for those Syriac songs, they are not like the Armenian church songs but the Armenian folk songs of mainly Sasun, Mush and surrounding regions, and they are like the Kurdish songs too. Again the same phenomenon. Where the Kurds, Armenians and Syrians lived together, they produced songs with similar melodies or sang in similar way. Now the Armenians of Armenia sing those same or similar melodies in some other, more 'polished' style. Because now they don't live among Kurdish majority. However, in the past, even the generation of my grandparents, would sing those Armenian songs like the Kurds. I remember my grandpa who sang in that manner, and his parents and all the inhabitants of our village were refugees of 1915 from Western Armenia, from a region near Sasun where they lived among Kurdish majority.

You do your grandpa--and mine--a disservice by assuming that their Western Armenian musical traditions were really Kurdish (or Turkish.)  The Western Armenians had a very ancient presence in what is today Eastern Turkey, more ancient than that of the Kurds or Turks.  It is true that the Western Armenians had close contact with the Kurds and Turks for many centuries, but why assume that when there were similarities between their cultures, that it was the Armenians who did all the borrowing and the Turks and Kurds who had the original native culture? 

The fact that there are differences between Western and Eastern Armenian styles does not mean that the Western styles are not authentically Armenian.  Variations between subcultures that develop within an ethnic group are natural.  The Western and Eastern Armenians were separated enough from each other politically (Western under the Turks, Eastern under the Persians) that different dialects developed between the two.  It stands to reason that other differences would also develop, including differences in musical styles, dance, food, etc.  The difference need not mean that one way is more Armenian than another.   

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I'm still in search of the pure Armenian style in singing the church songs. When I find it, I'll share my happiness with you, Salpy  Cheesy


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 and I get the feeling you are more educated in these matters than I am.  We will just have to agree to disagree.   
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« Reply #308 on: July 09, 2009, 07:25:52 AM »

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. 

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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 Smiley. I agree with these your words entirely.






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« Reply #309 on: July 09, 2009, 12:54:00 PM »

I'm glad much has been cleared up between us.   Smiley  I think our main area of disagreement has to do with which way the influence went between the Muslims and Christians dominated by them.  It doesn't surprise me that an Armenian tagh sounds similar to a Turkish mode.  My take on it though, would be that the Turks were influenced by us and the Greeks, rather than the other way around.  I know that there are many who think Eastern Christians have been influenced by the Muslims, not only in music, but in other things.  I've heard people tell me that they think the prostrations that we traditionally do (yegirbakoutiun) are Muslim.  However, it is my understanding that the Christians were doing this before the Muslims, and they got it from us. 

The fact that the Muslims were politically dominant doesn't necessarily have to mean that the influence had to flow from them to us.  Here in the US, it was the whites of European ancestry who were politically dominant for three centuries.  Yet the most uniquely American form of music, jazz, has little or no European roots.  Rather it comes from the music brought over by the blacks from their African motherland.  So you see, the influence can flow that way also.   Smiley
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« Reply #310 on: July 09, 2009, 01:44:06 PM »

I think our main area of disagreement has to do with which way the influence went between the Muslims and Christians dominated by them.  It doesn't surprise me that an Armenian tagh sounds similar to a Turkish mode.  My take on it though, would be that the Turks were influenced by us and the Greeks, rather than the other way around. 

Oh Salpy jan, it is not an area of disagreement at all. Of course the Turks took from both the Hellenized Anatolians (call them Greeks, if you like) and Armenians many things, first of all their lands and even the genes, through assimilation and islamization of so many people of Anatolia and Armenia. Sadly Sad.  But again Smiley, I was speaking only about that special style of singing, shared today, in fact, by the minority of Armenians, as I can understand, mainly by those from Istanbul. Though even in Istanbul not everyone likes that style, frankly speaking. So why not, let some part of our people sing in that way, there are always people who like that manner of singing more than the other manners.  By the way, one of the CDs of the choir Akn, which uses just that Istanbul style, can be downloaded through rapidshare. Do you like me to find the link to it and put here?

Since the discussion of cultural influences between nations etc is another topic (who, on whom, how, when, in what measure influenced Smiley), and is not, perhaps, for this forum, I'll stop here.
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« Reply #311 on: July 09, 2009, 01:56:56 PM »

  By the way, one of the CDs of the choir Akn, which uses just that Istanbul style, can be downloaded through rapidshare. Do you like me to find the link to it and put here?

Yes, please!  That would be great!

Also, if I remember correctly, I think you mentioned the recordings that were made of Komitas himself before he died.  Is that available in a way that can be linked here?  I know it exists on CD's and I have heard it.  But is it somewhere on the internet that can be linked?

Thank you!
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« Reply #312 on: July 10, 2009, 06:23:55 AM »

  By the way, one of the CDs of the choir Akn, which uses just that Istanbul style, can be downloaded through rapidshare. Do you like me to find the link to it and put here?

Yes, please!  That would be great!

Also, if I remember correctly, I think you mentioned the recordings that were made of Komitas himself before he died.  Is that available in a way that can be linked here?  I know it exists on CD's and I have heard it.  But is it somewhere on the internet that can be linked?

Thank you!

http://rapidshare.com/files/107448880/_al_sur__Akn_-_Chants_liturgiques_arm_niens_.zip

For the voice of Komitas Vardapet I found two performances of folk songs, recorded in 1912 in Paris.

The first is 'Hov areq'- a very sad song.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zf0GtVLBB74&feature=related

(the same also here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mbuc7vilzXk&feature=channel_page

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bFy63islPjk&feature=related)

The second is a gutanerg- a song of the man who works in the field with an ox and talks to his ox, telling him to work well. The song starts with the words, "Blessed is God". In that song there are many strange sounds and words meaning nothing, they are words for the ox- ox vocabulary  Cheesy. I think the ox understood that language better, that's why. I like this funny and unique gutanerg Smiley.  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQwCIJiL3-M&feature=channel
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« Reply #313 on: July 10, 2009, 11:23:15 AM »

Thank you!  You're wonderful, vasnTearn!

Shad Shnorhagal em.   Smiley
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"I don't think I've ever eaten anything Armenian I didn't like.  I even drink my non-Armenian coffee out of a St Nersess Seminary coffee mug because it is better that way." --Mor Ephrem
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« Reply #314 on: July 10, 2009, 12:01:42 PM »

Dear Salpy

I hadn't noticed there were two other songs too, in addition to 'Hov arek', in that 4th link that I provided above. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bFy63islPjk&NR=1

After 'Hov arek' Komitas sings 'Mokats Mirza' and 'Arorn asats tatrak havkun'- I love these songs soooooo much. Mokats Mirza is about an Armenian mirza (some kind of prince or what) from Moks who was called to 'the town of Jazira', as the song says, and didn't return, he was martyred by the Arabs, as far as I remember his story. So this song is very ancient, perhaps from the times of the Arabic dominion in Armenia. The next song is a conversation between two birds- 'aror' and turtle-dove. Is it possible to find the English translation of this last song's words? I think, it must be somewhere, I think. It's a well-known Armenian folk poem.
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