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Bibliothèque de l'Église apostolique arménienne - Paris
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Robert Arshaki ATAYAN
( 1915 - 1994 )


Born Tehran, 7 Nov 1915; died Los Angeles, 5 March 1994).

Armenian musicologist, folklorist and composer. After moving to Yerevan in 1923 he studied composition at the Yerevan Conservatory. From 1944 he taught harmony at the conservatory and completed a second degree at the Institute of Art of the Armenian Academy of Sciences with Kushnaryov, 1945-8. In 1951 he began taking part in folklore expeditions around Armenia and in 1955 he completed his dissertation at the conservatory on Armenian neumatic (khazer) notation. He joined the staff of the Institute of Arts in 1956 and was appointed professor in 1962 at the conservatory, where he also served intermittently as head of the music theory department until 1991. He was made an Honoured Representative of the Arts of Armenia in 1961. He participated in many congresses both within and outside the former Soviet Union, and was highly regarded as a teacher.

As a leading Armenian musicologist, Atayan had broad interests which included Armenian peasant and urban folklore, medieval monody and the music of Komitas, for which he compiled and edited the complete works in eight volumes (Yerevan, 1960-98). In the course of his work, Atayan systematized folklore elements (such as typology, genre, mode and dialect); he also examined the stylistic evolution, the structure and the issue of ‘authenticity’ of Komitas´s compositions. Atayan´s belief in the unity of the theory, history and ethnology of Armenian culture has informed his research into the legacy of Ekmalian and Tigranyan, whose works were published under Atayan´s guidance. As a composer, Atayan showed a preference for vocal genres, including solo and choral songs, based on national themes and rhythms and arrangements of medieval monody.

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 The Armenian neume system of notation
Titre : The Armenian neume system of notation / auteur(s) : Robert Arshaki ATAYAN -
Editeur : Curzon England
Année : 1999
Imprimeur/Fabricant : Bookcraft
Description : 14 x 22 cm, 288 pages, couverture illustrée en couleurs
Collection : Caucasus World
Notes :
Autres auteurs :
Sujets : Armenian Music
ISBN : 9780700706365
Lecture On-line : non disponible

Commentaire :

J? rom historical and aesthetic viewpoints alike, the study of the khaz (or neume) system of notation holds immense significance for Armenian and Byzantine music. Its development aided the Armenian people in their creation of a rich musical culture which, to this day, is largely inaccessible since this medieval notation has still not been fully deciphered. Focusing on such sacred texts as the Sbai'aknots', Khazgirk', Ch'ashots', Gandzaran and Tagbaran (Hymnals, Khaz-Books, Lectionary, Canticles and Chants), this unique study creates an overall picture of the khaz system — while at the same time reassessing the theories of western musicologists. The abundant manuscript sources of the Institute of Ancient Manuscripts (Erevan) are used to help trace the origin and evolution of the khazes, and also to recreate the melodies of the numerous chants and songs in Armenian sacred and folk music composed over the centuries.

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