Music of Armenia
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The music of Armenia has its origins in Anatolia and the Caucasus Mountains, where people traditionally sang popular folk songs, usually sung by Ashugs, the most famous one probably being Sayat Nova. Armenia has a long musical tradition, and its music has been represented in recent times by artists such as Djivan Gasparyan, a world-wide renowned Duduk player, and Armenian pop singers such as Sirusho, Andre and Harout Pamboukjian, a Los Angeles-based pop singer who is famous mainly in Armenia and the United States and is also acclaimed in Lebanon, Syria and countries with an Armenian-speaking minority. Armenia is also renowned for its Classical music tradition, with composers of the level of Aram Khachaturian, Arno Babadjanian and Edvard Baghdasaryan.
There is also a big following of genres such as Chanson music, with singers like Ruben Hakhverdyan and genres such as Light Pop and Pop-Folk (usually referred by the term "rabiz") music, with artists such as Aram Asatryan, Tata Simonyan, Tatoul Avoyan and many others.
Melodic basis 
Traditional Armenian folk music as well as Armenian church music is not based on the European tonal system but on a system of Tetrachords. The last note of one tetrachord also serves as the first note of the next tetrachord - which makes a lot of Armenian folk music more or less based on a theoretically endless scale.
Folk music 
Armenians have had a long tradition of Folk music from the Antiquity and during the Ottoman times. While under Soviet domination, Armenian folk music was taught in state-sponsored Conservatoires. Instruments played include kanun (dulcimer), davul (double-headed hand drum), oud (lute), duduk, zurna, blul (ney), shvi and to a lesser degree saz. Other instruments are often used such as violin and clarinet. The duduk is Armenia's national instrument, and among its well-known performers are Margar Margarian, Levon Madoyan, Saro Danielian, Vatche Hovsepian, Gevorg Dabaghyan and Yeghish Manoukian, as well as Armenia's most famous duduk player, Djivan Gasparyan.
Earlier in Armenian history, instruments like the kamancha were played by popular, travelling musicians called ashoughs. Sayat Nova, an 18th century Ashough, is revered in Armenia. Performers such as Armenak Shahmuradian, Vagharshak Sahakian, Norayr Mnatsakanyan, Hayrik Muradyan, Raffi Hovhannisyan, Papin Poghosian, and Hamlet Gevorgyan were famous in Armenia and are still acclaimed. The most notable female vocalists in the Armenian folk genre have been Araksia Gyulzadyan, Ophelia Hambardzumyan, Varduhi Khachatrian, Valya Samvelyan, Rima Saribekyan, Susanna Safarian, Manik Grigoryan, and Flora Martirosian.
Armenian emigrants from other parts of the Middle East settled in various countries, especially in the California Central Valley, and the second- and third-generation have kept their folk traditions alive, such as Richard Hagopian, a famous oud-player. Another oud player, John Berberian, is noted in particular for his fusions of traditional music with jazz and rock in the 1960s. From Lebanon and Syria, George Tutunjian, Karnig Sarkissian and others performed Armenian Revolutionary Songs which quickly became popular among the Armenian Diaspora, notably ARF supporters. In Tehran Iran the folk music of the Armenian community is characterized by the work of Nikol Galanderian (1881–1946) and the Goghtan choir.
Other Armenian musicians include Ara Topouzian who performs on the kanun and VANArmenya, who sings both folk, children's and patriotic songs, performs on keyboards, and promotes the music of "the other Gomidas," Grikor Mirzaian.
Arto Tunçboyacıyan is a well known Turkish musician of Armenian descent, who is famous in Turkey and worldwide, and currently has his own jazz club in Yerevan, Armenia. He was the founder of the Armenian Navy Band.
Classical music 
Armenian classical composers include Kemani Tatyos Ekserciyan, one of the best-remembered composers of Ottoman classical music. Alexander Spendiarov (1871–1928), Armen Tigranian (1879–1950), and Haro Stepanian are best known for their Armenian operas. Sargis Barkhudaryan (1887–1973) and Caro Zakarian (1895–1967) are representative composers of the pre- and early Soviet Armenian era. The most famous, however, was Aram Khatchaturian (1903–1978), internationally well known especially for his music for various ballets and the immortal Sabre Dance from his composition for the ballet Gayane. Gevorg Armenian (1920- ), Anahit Tsitsikian (1926–1999), Arno Babadjanyan (1921–1983), Barseg Kanatchian (1885–1967), Edward Mirzoyan (1921-2012), Boris Parsadanian (1925–1997), Ashot Zohrabyan (1945 -), and Aram Satian (1947 –) represent other Soviet era Armenian composers. Iosif Andriasov's (1933-2000) music and ethics made him internationally recognized as one of the most important figures in contemporary culture. Alexander Arutiunian (1920–2012) is best known for his Trumpet Concerto in A-flat major. Alexander Dolukhanian (1910–1968) composed/arranged numerous Armenian songs including the well-known "Swallow". Alexander Adgemian (1925–1987), Ashot Satian (1906–1958) and Vagarshak Kotoyan (1921–1992) are known for their contributions to Armenian choral and vocal music. Eduard Abramian (1923–1986) wrote songs on the poetry of Armenian poets Hovhannes Tumanyan and Avetik Isahakian which are now part of the standard repertoire. Artemi Ayvazyan (1902–1975) wrote the first Soviet musical comedies, including the popular "Dentist from the Orient". In recent years, Avet Terterian (1929–1994), Tigran Mansurian (1939- ), Vache Sharafyan (1966) and Aram Petrosyan (1972- ) have achieved global success. Another acclaimed, more recent, classical composer is Khachatur Avetissian (1926–1996), many of whose compositions are based on traditional folklore themes. Uruguayan-Armenian composer Coriún Aharonián (1940- ), besides a notable body of avant-garde compositions has done extensive musicological and political work. The Armenian nationalist composer Alexander Kaloian (1962- ) is known for his overtly nationalistic works for Military Band and Orchestra including Marches, Tone Poems and Symphonies immediately recognizable as "Armenian" in their colour.
In classical music, many Armenian singers have gained worldwide recognition: sopranos Gohar Gasparyan, Sona Ghazarian, Arpine Pehlivanian, Melania Abovian, Arax Mansourian, Lucine Amara, Cathy Berberian, Ellada Chakhoyan, Hasmik Papian, Elvira Uzunian and, more recently, Isabel Bayrakdarian and Anna Kasyan, tenors Tigran Levonyan, Gegham Grigoryan, and Vahan Mirakyan; basses Ara Berberian, Shara Talian, Avag Petrosian, and Henrik Alaverdian, as well as the bass-baritone Barsegh Toumanian.
Scott Giles (1965-) is an Armenian-American known for his many symphonies and concertos. Armenian-Canadian composer Vahram Sargsyan (1981- ) represents the younger generation of Armenian contemporary music composers who is mostly known for his choral compositions.
Religious music 
Armenian chant, composed in one of eight modes, is the most common kind of religious music in Armenia. It is written in khaz, a form of indigenous musical notation. Many of these chants are ancient in origin, extending to pre-Christian times, while others are relatively modern, including several composed by Saint Mesrop Mashtots, who re-introduced the Armenian alphabet. Some of the best performers of these chants or sharakans, are at the Holy Cathedral of Etchmiadzin, and include the late soprano Lusine Zakaryan.
Armenian religious music remained liturgical until Komitas Vardapet introduced polyphony in the end of the 19th century. Apart from his contribution to religious music, Komitas may be considered the founder of modern classical Armenian music. From 1899 to 1910, he travelled through the Armenian highlands and collected more than 3,000 folk tunes many of which he harmonized and transformed into Lieder.
The first jazz-band of Yerevan was founded in 1936. Soviet Jazz was developed by Armenians such as Artemi Ayvazyan, who founded the Armenian State Estrada Orchestra in 1938. The conventional performers in the vocal genre have been: Georgi Minasian, Artashes Avetyan, and Levon Sevan. There are Jazz influenced singers who are popular in Armenia such as Aramo.
Popular music 
Pop music 
In pop music, Suzan Yakar and Udi Hrant Kenkulian were famous cabaret singers in Turkey during the 1920s and 1930s. The most prominent female representatives of modern Armenian pop music include Bella Darbinyan, Raisa Mkrtchyan, and the more contemporary vocal performers such as Elvina Makaryan, Erna Yuzbashian, Nadezhda Sargsian, Zara Tonikyan, Suzan Margaryan, Tatevik Hovhannisyan. The Armenian male pop performers in the diaspora are Adiss Harmandian. Paul Baghdadlian, Rouben Hakhverdian, Forsh, VANArmenya and Aram Avagyan are prominent lyricists and author-performers.
American composer Daniel Decker has achieved critical acclaim for his collaborations with Armenian composer Ara Gevorgian. “Noah’s Prayer” (originally entitled “Mush”) chronicles Noah’s journey to Mount Ararat. “Noah’s Prayer” was debuted in 2002 in Sardarapat, Armenia to celebrate Armenian Independence day in the presence of Armenian President Robert Kocharyan, and His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians (head of the Armenian Apostolic Church). A second collaboration called “Adana” tells the story of the Armenian Genocide, during which soldiers of the Ottoman Empire forced 1.5 million Armenians into starvation, torture and extermination. As with their first collaboration, Decker wrote the song’s epic lyrics to complement the musical landscape of Ara Gevorgian. Cross Rhythms, Europe’s leading religious magazine and web portal said of “Adana”, “seldom has a disaster of untold suffering produced such a magnificent piece of art.”
Rabiz music 
||This article may contain original research. (July 2010)|
Rabiz is a term which is often used to refer to genre of Armenian popular music. Rabiz music is distinguished by lyrics and music with elements of Armenian folk music.
Despite wide use the term Rabiz is not clearly defined. According to some sources it stems from Russian phrase "рабочее исскуство"(raboche'e iskustvo) used during Soviet times, literally meaning "labour's art". But even in this case it lost initial meaning. Though large group of singers and their listeners refer to Rabiz as music genre, the term is used widely as a definition for a lifestyle. Rabiz is referring not only to taste of music, but also fashion and lifestyle. Although the meaning of this use is largely dependent on personal taste and/or musical preferences of the speaker.
It is listened widely throughout the youth of Armenians in Los Angeles, Armenia, and Russia called rabiz. Rabiz music is music mostly played by musicians such as Tatoul Avoyan, Hayko Ghevondyan, and formerly Armenchik. It has taken the face of Armenian music due to its catchy beats and dance type music. Rabiz music is mostly about love or partying called "kef" but also about love to family or Armenia.
The musical language of the rabiz, being a blend of several musical traditions (primarily Armenian national, ashug. [bard-style] and Eastern in the style of the makam [classical court music]), is marked by delicate Eastern harmony and an abundance of melisinas, which allow the musician to achieve the desired effect by purely musical means.
Among the rock bands of the old generation were the "Apostles" of Arthur Meschian, "Vostan Hayots", "Ayas" and Arevatsaq. Interest in young rock bands as Sard, Bambir 2 is increasing, especially after videos for their new songs were shown on local television. Some groups such as Road Movie, Dogma remain in underground, playing concerts in rock clubs.
One of the most popular Alternative Metal bands in the United States is System of a Down, formed by Daron Malakian, Serj Tankian, Shavo Odadjian and John Dolmayan, all of them of Armenian descent. Serj Tankian has released several solo albums with political and socially conscious content.
Hip-Hop music in Armenia is gradually having notoriety amongst the youth. One of the notable bands was Hay Tgheq (Հայ տղեք) founded in 2001. Later band members Misho and HT Hayko started their own solo careers. Other Hip-Hop groups were formed in Germany such as Armenios, which was founded in Germany by A-Shot, ArmoX & 15Volt, R-Mean in the Netherlands, and Super Sako in the United States.
Armenian musicians from the Diaspora 
There is a large number of musicians of Armenian descent or origin but living (or born) outside of Armenia. Some of them are famous all over the world. In France Armenian descent artist Charles Aznavour (born Aznavourian) is much celebrated show and song-stars for decades. In 2009 Armenian-American singer and songwriter Serj Tankian along with his father Khatchadour Tankian sang their rendition of "Bari Arakel" on an Armenian charity telethon. Armenian-American pop artists include Cher, whose real name is Cherylin Sarkissian and all the members of the popular heavy metal band System of a Down. Keyboardist Derek Sherinian is a world wide rock keyboard legend who has played with Alice Cooper, Kiss, Dream Theater amongst many others. Andy Madadian is a legendary artist who is Armenian-Iranian, and Vigen Derderian is an Armenian-Iranian legendary jazz and pop artist. Vahe Mardirossian, another artist of Armenian descent, plays flamenco style music on his own custom made guitars. Armik, an Armenian-Iranian flamenco guitarist and composer. As a guitarist, he is one of the most adulated virtuosos of the Nuevo Flamenco genre, having appeared in Billboard Magazine's Top Ten New Age Artists in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2008.
- Recording of "Erivan bachem arer", an Armenian-American folk song from the Library of Congress' California Gold: Northern California Folk Music from the Thirties Collection; performed a cappella by Ruben J. Baboyan on April 16, 1939 in Fresno, California
See also 
- Armenian culture
- Armenian dance
- Armenian opera
- Armenian lullabies
- KOHAR Symphony Orchestra and Choir
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- "VANARMENYA: Tebi Moush-Sasoun". CD Baby. Retrieved 2012-09-28.
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- Free high quality Armenian Pop Music Radio Station
- Armenian Celebrity News & Exclusive Interviews
- Armenian Music Internet Television
- Armenian Music Video
- Armenian Music Radio
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- Armenya Portal to Armenian Music Websites
- Armenian Radio Stver
- Armenian Spiritual Music 5th-13th centuries for listening, text in Russian
- Armenian Music Band