Recently I received an email from a friend that shared a rare look and sound of Armenian liturgical music performed on traditional instruments. After posting on my personal Facebook page, the comments and views went through the roof. This is an easier format to widely share and I think with a little help – this video can go viral!
You will especially enjoy hearing the Santour. Not an Armenian instrument by nature, more Persian, the Santour was played an instrument utilized by the Armenians for centuries. Dating back to early Babylon times, the Santour is similar to the instrument that I perform called the Kanun. The main differences involve hammers for the Santour as well as metal strings. In comparison to strings, the Santour has roughly 100 strings to a Kanun that has approximately 76 strings.
The song, “Soorp Soorp” (Holy, Holy) was written by Komitas Vardapet, well regarded as the father of Armenian music. This song has been reported to have first been performed in Tbilisi, Georgia around 1905.
I would have considered Komitas as the father of Armenian music history. He was one of the world’s first anthropologists and musicologists. To say he is the father of the music seems to conflict with his hypothesis that music is legendary and reflects the soul of a nation. I’m also curous to confirm if Komitas wrote Sourp Sourp. I would have presumed that he reconstructed/modified/purified this song from an existing repitiore as opposed to composing it. Thank you for sharing the article, this is really great. I would love to learn more about the astrological references in makam music and specifically in the litergy. tamburi Kuçuk artin has a wonderful thesis on the subject but it’s a little beyond my comprehension.