Doctor of Arts, musicologist, Honored Worker of Art of RA, Leading Researcher at the Institute of Arts of the National Academy of Sciences of RA and a Professor at the Komitas State Conservatory of Yerevan. She is a member of the Composers Union of Armenia, International Association of Byzantine Studies (AIEB), Verein zur Erforschung der Monodie (Austria) and Association Internationale des Etudes Arméniennes (Switzerland). Arevshatyan is the author of numerous articles and monographs on medieval Armenian music history, theory and aesthetics, on Komitas and the creative activity of contemporary Armenian composers. She authors seven monographs: The Mashtots Book as a Monument of Armenian Medieval Music Culture (Yerevan, 1991), Commentaries on Armenian Medieval Modes (Yerevan, 2003), The Theory of Musical Modes in Medieval Armenia (Yerevan, 2013), The Musicological Heritage of Grigor Gapasakalyan (Yerevan, 2013), The Music Culture of Ani (Yerevan, 2014), Grigor Magistros as a Hymnographer and Aesthet (Yerevan, 2015), Grigor Magistros as a Hymnographer and Aesthet (Yerevan, 2018).
THE BOOKS OF MANRUSUM AND THEIR ART AND
IN THE LIGHT OF KOMITAS’S STUDIES
The X-XIV centuries are considered to be the highly flourishing period of the melismatic singing style of Armenian spiritual music, reflecting the leading aesthetic ideals and musical taste of the time. At the end of the XI century, a completely new type of song collection – the Book of manrusum emerged when the melismatic singing style was predominant, which is comparable to the calophonic style in Byzantium. This collection reflected the new trends and realities of the spiritual music of the time. A number of medieval authors also used the phrase ‟the art of manrusum”.
The most extensive section of Komitas’s first musical essay ‟Armenian Church Melodies” (1894) was dedicated to the art of manrusum and the Books of manrusum, where he described manrusum as a combination of performing and theoretical knowledge, as well as touched upon the melodies of manrusum, their classifications, different nuances and so on. Komitas’s valuable observations were a guide for further researchers. However, until now the Books of manrusum or Xazgirk‘s (the books, written with xazes) are the least studied medieval Armenian collections due to the esoteric nature of the art of manrusum and the problem of interpretation of xazes.
After Komitas in spite of a number of difficulties, N. Tahmizyan, myself, A. Tamrazyan and others have referred to various aspects of studying this collection. From these studies it becomes clear that the Book of manrusum is a typical example of the so-called practical theory of medieval music theory. All the facts indicate that the Books of manrusum generalize the traditions of melismatic singing style and the doctrine of the latter, which lasted until the XVII century.