Sunday, April 11, 2010

In 1903 and 1913, Komitas went to Aragadz village, near Aparan, as he heard someone was there who knew folk songs of Moush. He went with Benik Vartapet, from the Echmiadzin brotherhood. On the slopes of Mt. Aragadz, not far from the village, a rock where Komitas sat and worked is called “The Master’s Rock.”

Today on “R” television a special reportage featured Jora Grigoryan, grandson of Grigor Grigoryan, who taught Komitas six songs during the 10 days Komitas spent in Aragadz, the songs including the well known “Alagyaz.”

Grigoryan, who had a folk song and dance ensemble in Soviet times, told about how his research and recording of the songs passed down by his grandfather, all the while showing pictures of the old generation of his family.

During the interview, Grigoryan said he hoped these songs would some day be sung, and not stay in archives, or on paper. He said he doesn’t mind giving songs to today’s singers, asking them not for money but only to mention the source. “They never do,” he said. “They take the songs, arrange them to their liking, and make their money. I never hear from them unless they want another song.”

Privately, in a meeting two months ago, Grigoryan told us the names of several who had done so. All are “living well,” to put it mildly, at least in part from songs taken from people like Jora.

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