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SamirCanada
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[*] posted on 11-6-2013 at 07:58 AM
Amazing young armenian lady


really worth a watch.
Girls can play oud too. I will show my daughter this some day :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ne8GdbhH_eA




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reminore
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[*] posted on 11-6-2013 at 04:19 PM


well to me it just shows how much the soviets messed up the armenian musical tradition...and most other nationalities as well in the ex soviet union. what a nightmare!
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[*] posted on 11-6-2013 at 05:11 PM


I have no idea how this can be described as a nightmare. This girl is incredibly talented and her fellow musicians provide excellent accompaniment for her skilled playing. Some of the selections may not be well suited for a purist (like me, for example) but she did a great job! She's has some seriously impressive fingers...very precise without sounding mechanical...Բրավո աղջիկ.



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reminore
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[*] posted on 11-7-2013 at 03:38 AM


she has incredible dexterity - it is a direct product however, of the 'academy' culture of symphonic music which was the only outlet for professional musicians during the soviet years.

it has nothing to do with the ancient musical tradition from that part of the world...

her fingers are like little hammers - not a bend, warble or carpma in sight! poor udi hrant would spin in his grave...
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[*] posted on 11-9-2013 at 12:51 PM


Well it was mostly very heavily westernized music, and I suppose it comes down to a matter of personal taste whether that sort of thing is good or not, though personally I found the addition of a piano quite awful. To my taste there is no uglier instrument than the piano.

In any other context we might applaud such expansion of the role of the oud outside its traditional one, but since Soviet-era interference in traditional musics has been invoked, there's more to consider.

The soviets deemed non-western music inferior, and went on a crusade to "correct" the traditional musics of those regions they subjugated by adding alien chords, techniques, instruments, etc. as seen in this clip, and if that's what Reminore is referring to as a nightmare, then I have to agree that it is.

And I hated the piano. Did I mention that I hated the piano?

David
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Amos
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[*] posted on 11-9-2013 at 10:05 PM


I must agree with all of these observations, I guess I was just referring to this young lady's command of the instrument. I would not listen to much of this music outside of the very little traditional music in the video, but I thought that characterizing it as a disaster (while again, I am a purist and so understand the displeasure) was painting the performance with just a bit too broad of a brush stroke.




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[*] posted on 11-10-2013 at 07:05 AM


posted on 23-9-2013:
http://www.mikeouds.com/messageboard/viewthread.php?tid=3146&pa...
:cool:




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[*] posted on 11-10-2013 at 01:40 PM


Quote: Originally posted by Amos  
I must agree with all of these observations, I guess I was just referring to this young lady's command of the instrument.

Oh yes, she's very skilled. No doubt about that.

Hopefully she will never read this thread and take unintended offense at our comments, lol.

David
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Andy
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[*] posted on 11-14-2013 at 12:39 AM


Thank you Samir for posting this. This is a very skilled and talented young lady. She did not do a great job she did an EXCELLENT job!and her playing showed her talent in playing untraditional music as well as traditional. Her fingers did bend unless my eyesight failed me. I saw no fingers acting like hammers. I am sure under very critical negative remarks are feelings of envy. By the way, I doubt very much that Oudi Hrand would be "spinning" in his grave. I suspect that the well known Armenian oud players of today would be proud of Mariam as I am.
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John Erlich
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[*] posted on 11-14-2013 at 09:09 AM


I am no expert on the music of the non-European areas of the Russian Empire and Soviet Union. I suspect that Russification/Westernization of music in the Christian areas of the Caucasus (Armenia, Georgia, etc.) pre-dates Soviet rule. I would guess that Soviet rule in the Caucasus, given its much higher level of control and "integration," would have accelerated the Westernization process. On the other hand, I know that under Soviet rule, there was a State-sponsored Armenian folk ensemble. After the end of Communist rule and breakup of the USSR, John Chookasian (clarinetist) in Fresno, CA, USA, snapped up a number of former members of this ensemble, including the oud player, Garo Bedrosian, who is quite talented.
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reminore
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[*] posted on 11-14-2013 at 03:59 PM


no envy andy...really, believe me - this style of playing the oud in addition to the choice of pieces is so completely remote compared to the asia minor greek/western armenian/ottoman turkish style that i love...

i'm glad you are proud - and to each their own!
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[*] posted on 11-14-2013 at 06:48 PM


the oud wasn't introduced to what's current day Armenia until the time of the genocide in 1915 when refugees from Turkish Armenia and other parts of Turkey made their way across the border into what was then known as Russian Armenia (known today as "Armenia" as if that's the only Armenia there ever was). Sovietization shortly followed in circa 1920 and soon after that the sovietization of folk music. the kanun was introduced at the same time. undoubtedly the girl in the video has a soviet armenian kanun which means the mandals creating quartertones are taken off. so the westernization of armenian oud and kanun playing was completely done under the soviet regime.

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[*] posted on 11-14-2013 at 06:56 PM


john i reread your post - you correctly point out that under soviet rule they had a "national folk ensemble" this is quite correct and the players of the folk instruments were highly esteemed. they just didn't play in the traditional folk way for the most part. they played this made up type of music with an orchestra of 6 davouls, 4 kanuns, 2 kamanchas, 2 ouds, which never existed in the past. they tried to remake folk music in the image of classical music. that westernization did start during the tsarist era, under kara-murza and komitas. the same thing happened in the armenian church when yegmalian introduced four-part harmony (1890s) while armenian church music used to only be a unified melody line perhaps with a drone.
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John Erlich
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[*] posted on 11-15-2013 at 11:27 AM


Hi Hartun,

Thanks for the background & historical info.

Best,
John
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[*] posted on 11-17-2013 at 07:18 AM


hey guys, let's face it, women can play just as good as us men on oud or just about any other instrument, and once more they look better too. :D
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[*] posted on 11-18-2013 at 06:30 PM


http://memory.loc.gov/afc/afccc/p000/p064r.jpg

(mary goshtigian of fresno via constantinople, 1939)
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[*] posted on 11-19-2013 at 11:06 AM


This young artist presents her work as quite accomplished at her Recital!She has really done her homework as a musician and artist. Music and Arthave the capacity to transcend geographical boundaries and politics. Easterners play western, Westerners play eastern, many successfully do fusion, and there are too many genres to name. The point is what does the music express and does it speak to you. If you don't like it, fine, but at least respect her work and don't use it for YOUR POLITICAL SOAPBOX.
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[*] posted on 11-19-2013 at 06:10 PM


maharini you are right. i got a little carried away. i have edited my post accordingly by removing unnecessary political commentary. i'm sure noone on this forum needs to be told of the value of eastern music.
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[*] posted on 11-19-2013 at 07:23 PM


Quote: Originally posted by hartun  
maharini you are right. i got a little carried away. i have edited my post accordingly by removing unnecessary political commentary. i'm sure noone on this forum needs to be told of the value of eastern music.


I think a lot of people come to this forum with the desire to gain knowledge. That is certainly why I had my first look at the forums a few years ago. Separating opinion from truth is everyone's business. I do not think that any of the comments in this thread are political haranguing or preaching. I think that some of the information that came out in this discussion was not known to all readers. People can sort out for themselves what is fact and what is opinion. Until now there has been no hostility, only antipathy toward musical decisions made for idealogical reasons, and sorrow at a great culture made into a cartoon. Is it wrong to decry the bureaucrats who decided that microtones were inferior to the pitches of a piano? This is bureaucratic thinking, not necessarily communistic. The same misguided and misinformed idea was tried in Turkey too.

Neither is it clear to me that the "soapbox" comment was directed at you, Hartun. Though perhaps I didn't see the comments you have removed.

Whatever opinion one may have of the music of the soviet Armenian conservatory there are some facts to be observed in the video. The piano is not well tuned with itself. The piano and the solo oud are not in tune with each other. The two ouds that play in "harmony" are not actually harmonizing because the fingering is not accurate by either western or eastern standards. And neither are played in tune with the piano by western standards. Dexterity is good. Timing is steady but does not speak to the feet. Tone production is strong and confident but does not speak to the heart.

The comments made by various people about this video and the conditions it represents reveal deep empathy and humanity. They do not disrespect the individuals playing music in the video who are making the best of the situation in which they find themselves. This video is probably not an example of a young artist finding freedom in combining east and west. It appears to be an example of a hard working student doing as she is told.

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[*] posted on 11-20-2013 at 05:21 AM


perhaps a bit of humor might illuminate...check out this 5 minute clip satirizing what kemalism attempted to do to traditional music in the beginning of the turkish republic...funny and tragic!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsQ9_CEcSsE
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[*] posted on 11-20-2013 at 11:54 AM


the turkish youtube video is hilarious. also interesting that they are singing gesi baghlari in the beginning.

well i have already deleted my comments. but most of my actual information as opposed to my opinions and sarcastic remarks, i have left there. my point was to make that this is not the original armenian style of playing the oud which originated in the ottoman empire and is basically similar to the turkish style.

however, gentlemen such as the following: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STFn1rgdvCo

have attempted to create a so called armenian style of playing the oud which is devoid of eastern intonation. even if you wanted to say that this style was in fact armenian since it has been developed in armenia, it can hardly be called "tradition". clearly there is a political motivation for such a move. it strips the "turkish influence" out of armenian music. ironically the same nationalists who wish to do this often say that the turks have no music of their own but copied the armenians and greeks. so...we need to get rid of turkish music influence in armenian music, even though turkish music is just a copy of armenian music in the first place? yeah that makes a lot of sense.... (not saying that this video in particular is claiming that, but there are those who claim that.)

similarly with the "armenian" kanun which has been stripped of the mandals that create the microtones. traditional armenian kanun is the same as the turkish kanun. since the cultural center of the western armenians was istanbul, inevitably they were integrated into the general ottoman music culture, although they had folk songs and dances of their own. on the other hand the cultural center of the eastern armenians was tiflis. where armenians played music in the same style as the azeri turks. such as with tar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nTSEZ_oXDUM&noredirect=1
however noone seems to see fit to strip a perceived azeri influence from armenian music.

I have been told by a young man with roots in former-soviet armenia that, although he understood the argument of my friends and I that ottoman style oud playing was part of armenian culture....when I brought up that their music sounded like azeri music even if ours sounded like turkish....he actually said to me what I have suspected all along...he said "well, they (other eastern armenians) will just respond to that, that the azeri's copied/stole our (armenian) music, but on the other hand you western armenians are copying turkish music."

i found this argument ridiculous, but that's how they think.

by the way if it isn't already clear western armenians are those who trace their roots to present day turkey, eastern armenians are those who trace their roots to present day armenia, azerbaijan and georgia.

mihran demirjian (the man in the oud video) himself acknowledges that the oud was introduced to (modern day) armenia by soghomon altunian of nicosia, cyprus in the 20s-30s, and that altunian's student in soviet armenia was stepan mamoian. mamoian can be heard here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dbaQfCqhduU

the style seems quite different from demirjian and mirzoyan's styles. and he even references udi hrant verbally before playing konyalim.
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[*] posted on 11-20-2013 at 04:14 PM


just in case it was my comments on the sovietization of 'national' musics in the ex-ussr were the 'political soapboxing'...put me on record as adding greece to the list of nations that did their best to eradicate the 'eastern sound' from their musical tradition. in greece, it was the fascist government of yorgos metaxas in the 1930's viciously went after what was perceived as 'turkish' elements in 'greek' music (and language too!)...something that left the more than 1.5 million asia minor greek refugees who had recently been exchanged for greece's muslim population with a 'forbidden' musical tradition...(ironic, because those same fascists were obviously tone deaf - the greek orthodox liturgy uses most of the same makams that are discussed on this forum!)
so, it is not a question of right or left, but as jody rightly points out, but policy makers and bureaucrats serving a totalitarian end...

at least in greece's case, most of the damage caused by these policies were more than righted in the past few years, as makam music is thriving there like never before...
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[*] posted on 11-21-2013 at 06:27 AM


reminore - unfortunately the same cannot be said of armenia

and even less so of western armenian music which follows the turkish makams while eastern armenian follows the persian/azeri system.

and again, the armenian church uses makams in its chant. in fact the armenian musicologist m. toumajan says that "the armenian ecclesiastical chant is nothing other than eastern urban music"
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[*] posted on 11-22-2013 at 12:20 PM


Quote: Originally posted by hartun  
and again, the armenian church uses makams in its chant. in fact the armenian musicologist m. toumajan says that "the armenian ecclesiastical chant is nothing other than eastern urban music"


If memory serves, in "The Music of The Arabs" Habib Hassan Touma makes a similarly tendentious claim that Christian church music of the Arab world in non-Arab in origin. I have never seen nor heard anything to suggest that Eastern Christian music is less (nor more) "Arab" than other MENA musics.
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[*] posted on 11-23-2013 at 06:13 AM


it's called the death of cosmopolitanism...and it is the defining feature of the 20th century, where all the 'cosmopolitan' cities of the middle east and the balkan peninsula winked out of existence one by one. sarajevo, thessaloniki, philipoupolis, istanbul, smyrna, latakia, beirut and alexandria to name but a few...

today, few people know anything or care to learn about the culture, language or beliefs of their neighbors. while i was living in istanbul, it was ironic to hear old greeks born there describing how they were referred to as 'foreigners', by newcomers to the city from the villages in eastern anatolia...more than tendentious, i would call it chauvinist...and of course this has been reflected greatly in the course of the musics of the region as well.
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