Armenian Dances, Part One
Duration: c. 0:00
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Sam Fox
Cost: Score and Parts - $0.00 | Score Only - $0.00
C Piccolo (doubles Flute III)
Eb Soprano Clarinet
Bb Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
Eb Alto Clarinet
Bb Bass Clarinet
Bb Contrabass Clarinet
Eb Alto Saxophone I-II
Bb Tenor Saxophone
Eb Baritone Saxophone
Bb Bass Saxophone (optional)
Bb Trumpet I-II-III
Bb Cornet I-II
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Percussion I-II-III, including:
- Bass Drum
- Cymbals (crash and suspended)
- Snare Drum
None discovered thus far.
The ARMENIAN DANCES, Parts I and II, constitute a four-movement Suite for Concert Band or Wind Ensemble based on authentic Armenian folk songs from the collected works of Gomidas Vartabed (1869-1935), the founder of Armenian classical music.
Part I, containing the first movement of this Suite (the remaining three movements constituting Part II), is an extended symphonic rhapsody built upon five different songs, freely treated and developed in terms of the modern, integrated concert band or wind ensemble. While the composer has kept his treatment of the melodies within the general limits imposed on the music by its very nature, he has not hesitated to expand the melodic, harmonic and rhythmic possibilities in keeping with the demands of a symphonic-instrumental, as opposed to an individual vocal or choral approach to its performance. Nevertheless, it is hoped that the overall effect of the music will be found to remain true in spirit to the work if this brilliant composer-musicologist, who almost single-handedly preserved and gave to the world a treasure trove of beautiful folk music that to this day has not yet become as widely known in the Western world as it so richly deserves. Hopefully, this new instrumental setting will prove to be at least a small step in this direction.
Part I of the ARMENIAN DANCES was completed in the Summer of 1972 and first performed by Dr. Harry Begian, (to whom the work is dedicated), and the University of Illinois Symphonic Band, on January 10, 1973, at the C.B.D.N.A. Convention in Urbana, Illinois.
Gomidas Vartabed (1869-1935), the founder of Armenian classical music, is credited with collecting well over four thousand Armenian folk songs. Born Soghomon Soghomonian in Keotahya, a small town in Anatolia, Turkey, he would later be given the name Gomidas. His exceptional lyric voice led the Prelate of the region to select the orphan, Soghomon, at the age of eleven, to study at the Kevorkian Seminary in Etchmiadzin, Armenia. He was ordained an Apegha (monk) in 1895, at which time he assumed the name Gomidas, adter the Armenian architect-musician Catholicos Gomidas. His desire for further musical training led him first to studies with Magar Yekmalian in Tiflis, Georgia, and from 1896-1899 to Berlin, where he studied at the Richard Schmidt Conservatory, as well as Frederic Wilhelm University, under eminent musicians of the time. In 1899 he graduated from both the Conservatory and the University, receiving his Ph.D. in Musicology; his dissertation topic was Kurdish Music.
Gomidas was a founding member of the International Music Society (1899-1912), for which he read important papers on Armenian neumatic notation, the structure of Armenian sacred melodies and folk melodies. At the age of forty-six, at the apex of his career, Gomidas was exiled, together with other Armenian intellectuals, by the Turks, in April, 1915, at which time the genocide of one and a half million Armenians took place. He was released within a short time, but the sufferings and atrocities which he had witnessed resulted in a complete mental and physical breakdown from which he never recovered. He died in Paris in 1935. His legacy to the Armenian people, and to the world's ethnic music, is invaluable, and his major contribution lies in preserving so many centuries-old melodies from obscurity, or oblivion.
Part I of the ARMENIAN DANCES is built upon five Armenian folk songs which were first notated, purified, researched and later arranged by Gomidas for solo voice with piano accompaniment, or unaccompanied chorus. In order of their appearance in the score, they are : Tzirani Tzar (The Apricot Tree); Gakavi Yerk (Partridge's Song); Hoy, Nazan Eem (Hoy, My Nazan); Alagyaz and Gna, Gna (Go, Go).
The Apricot Tree consists of three organically connected songs which were transcribed in 1904. Its declamatory beginning, rhythmic vitality and ornamentation make this a highly expressive song.
The Partridge's Song is an original song by Gomidas; it was published in 1908 in Tiflis, Georgia. He originally arranged it for solo voice and children's choir, and later for solo voice with piano accompaniment. It has a simple, delicate melody which might, perhaps, be thought of as depicting the tiny steps of the partridge.
Hoy, Nazan Eem was published in 1908, in a choral version arranged by Gomidas. This lively, lyric love song depicts a young man singing the praises of his beloved Nazan (a girl's name). The song has dance rhythms and ornamentation which make it an impressive, catchy tune.
Alagyaz (name of a mountain in Armenia), was first written by Gomidas for solo voice with piano accompaniment, and also in a choral arrangement. It is a beloved Armenian folk song, and it long-breathed melody is as majestic as the mountain itself.
Go, Go is a humorous, light-textured tune. In performance, Gomidas coupled it with a contrasting slower song, The Jug. Its repeated note pattern musically depicts the expression of laughter. This song also is in recitative style.
Dr. Violet Vagramian
Assistant Professor of Music
Florida International University
- Florida: VI
- Maryland: VI
- New York: VI
To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project
- United States Coast Guard Band [at San Luis Obispo, Calif.] (CWO Richard Wyman, conductor) - 16 July 2011
- Category 5 Wind Ensemble, Inc. (Dan Sitomer, conductor) - 11 June 2011
- Madison Wind Ensemble (Brian Vanderbloemen, conductor) - 6 May 2012
- Lone Star Wind Orchestra (Eugene Migliaro Corporon, conductor) - 17 April 2011
Works for Winds by this Composer
- Alleluia Laudamus Te
- Armenian Dances, Part One
- Armenian Dances, Part Two
- Celebration Fanfare, A
- Chanson Triste
- Christmas Intrada, A
- Clear Track Polka
- Concertino for Marimba and Winds
- Curtain Up! (A Theater Overture for Winds)
- Danza Caribe
- Deck Thyself, My Soul, With Gladness
- Divertimento for Flute and Winds
- El Camino Real
- Festival Prelude (1962)
- Festive Overture, A (1963)
- Fifth Suite for Band (1995)
- First Suite for Band (1975)
- Fourth Suite for Band
- Funiculi, Funicula
- Giligia (A Song of Remembrance)
- Golden Year, The
- Hounds Of Spring, The
- Hymn Variants
- Jubilant Overture, A
- King of Love My Shepherd Is, The
- Little Concert Suite, A
- Millennium III
- Mr. Music
- Northern Legend, A
- Othello (1977)
- Praise Jerusalem
- Prelude IV
- Ramparts of Courage, The
- Russian Christmas Music (1944)
- Second Century
- Second Suite for Band
- Silver Shadow (Concert March)
- Siciliana Notturno (1977)
- Sixth Suite for Band
- Slavonic Folk Suite
- Springtime Celebration, A
- Symphonic Prelude Based on Black Is the Color of My True Love's Hair
- Symphony No. 3
- Symphony No. 4
- Sumus Futuro
- Third Suite For Band
- Three Revelations from the Lotus Sutra
- Thunder and Lightning
- Two Bagatelles for Concert Band
- Viva Musica
- With Trumpets And Drums
None discovered thus far.