The Armenian music originated in the 2nd millennium BC. First, it was mentioned in the works of the Armenian historians Movses Khorenatsi and Pavstos Buzand. According to Khorenatsi, the Armenians had a unique musical tool, called “Pandir”. Pavstos Buzand mentioned that Armenians had already pipe, lyre, trumpet, and drums already in the 5th century.
In ancient manuscripts were found songs about Ara Gexhetsik and Shamiram (pre-Christian period). According to historian Agatangheghos, already in the 4th century Armenians taught music in schools. After the creation of the Armenian Alphabet, developed spiritual songs were already written in Armenian. In the 5th century were originated psalms which were widely used in church ceremonies.
Creators of the Armenian Music
In the 16th century appeared a new type of music, the artist of which were called minstrels. They were national singer-poets who played a big role in the history of Armenian music. The famous minstrels were worldwide famous Sayat-Nova. Naghash Hovnatan, Jivani, Sheram and Havasi.
The classical music appeared in Armenia in the 19th century (1813-1815), which founder was Hambardzum Limonchian. The Armenian first opera was created by Tigran Chukhachian (1868), called “Arshak 2nd”. In that period a new culture of music developed in national-liberation ideas.
In 1880s professional composers started to gather and develop ancient Armenian songs. They were Makar Yekmalian, Nikoghaios Tirgranian. The most important historical figure in Armenian history is Komitas who began his career at that time and changed the history of Armenian music. He was a teacher who left huge cultural heredity that is still being used in nowadays Armenian music.
A new page of our music history opened Aleksandr Spendarian who founded orchestral music in Armenia. A famous composer Armen Tigranian performed “Anoush” performance (1912) in the Armenian Language. In 1930 was performed the second famous opera by Aleksandr Spenidarian called “Almast” (means diamond). One of the most famous composers of that time was Aram Khachaturian. His compositions were used in different performances and movies.
The Armenian national dances
The Armenian national dances were developed in a pre-Christian period. They were the inseparable part of ritual ceremonies. Then, they lost their importance and were used only for weddings and events. According to Armenian historians, Goght province was famous for his musicians and dancers who played “pandir” and danced traditional dances.
The Armenian National dances include group, solo, couple and round dances.
There are many types of dances, but the most widespread are the followings