singer. She received her B.A. in Vocal Performance from the Berklee College of Music (Boston, Massachusetts) and a M.A. in Educational Leadership from Saint Mary’s University (San Antonio, Texas). In the U.S. she participated as a leading and backing vocalist in numerous studio projects and concerts. She is currently the instructor of Jazz Voice at the Department of Music & Dance of the University of Nicosia (since 2009), the Director of its Jazz Choir (since 2011) and is simultaneously pursuing the University’s Master’s Degree in Performance & Pedagogy (Classical). She performs extensively in various cities across Cyprus.
KOMITAS VARDAPET AND THE KHAZ NOTATION SYSTEM
This study concerns the life and work of Komitas Vardapet of converting the ancient Khaz notation system into Western notation. The goal is to understand further his contribution to Armenian music both as a composer and a pioneering musicologist whose work appeared before that of other notable scholars such as Zoltan Kodaly and Bela Bartok. Of the (Armenian) scholars who studied the ancient Armenian Khaz notation system, the most extensive and pioneering was Komitas Vardapet, an Armenian priest who many regard as the leading figure of Armenian folk and church music research. His most significant composition is the revised Armenian Church Mass, called Patarag (Divine Liturgy), which he composed after his extensive research. This composition is still used today in Armenian churches around the world.
As Komitas himself used to say, he “found the key to the Khazes”. That is to say that, he solved part of a very complex puzzle and revealed the principles of the Khaz system, such as the use of tetra-chords, free rhythm, and the use of accents. His study of Armenian music is based not in secondary sources but on original research with musical manuscripts in the collections of Etchmiatsin, an ancient cathedral in Armenia – considered of being one of the oldest in the world – and Venice. These measures thus raise the value of the credibility for his work.
His explicit purpose in his life-long research was to write down and thus preserve the national Armenian musical heritage, to make the music available to the public, and to utilize Armenian folk music for ethno-musicological and historical study.