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 in Yerevan. She is a member of the International Association of Byzantine Studies (AIEB), Verein zur Erforschung der Monodie and Association Internationale des Etudes Arméniennes. Arevshatyan is the author of numerous articles and monographs on Armenian medieval music history, theory and aesthetics, on Komitas and creative activity of Armenian modern composers. She authors 6 monographs: Mashtots Book as a Monument of Armenian Medieval Music Culture, The Armenian Medieval Commentaries of Modes, The Theory of Musical Modes in Medieval Armenia, The Musicological Heritage of Grigor Gapasakalyan, The Musical Culture of Ani, and Grigor Magistros as a Hymnographer and Aesthet.
ABOUT A FACT FROM THE MUSIC LIFE OF ANI,
MENTIONED IN THE LETTERS OF GRIGOR MAGISTROS
Grigor Magistros Pahlavuni (980-1058) was one of the outstanding representatives of the Bagratid Kingdom of Ani. His Letters are unique literary “memorials” that encompass encyclopedic information on Medieval Armenian literature, where one can find interesting facts on various fields of science and art, including information on the music life of the capital city of Ani. This witnesses Grigor Magistros’s exceptional knowledge, multifaceted interests and gifted nature.
In his letter No. 75 (as corresponding to the enumeration of K. Kostanyants, who was the first publisher of the Letters, Aleksandrapol, 1910), addressed to prince Tornik Mamikonyan, Grigor Magistros wrote about a folk festivity and mentioned the Attikian singers, that is to say the singing of the Greek castrates. As a result of the incorrect translation of this fragment, this remarkable fact was left out from the researchers’ sight.
In this article, the adequate translation and interpretation of this fragment is proposed, which itself evidences the presence of the castrate singers in Ani invited from Byzantium. The so-called “angel-voiced” singing of theirs reflected the aesthetical priorities of those times, as well as the artistical-musical taste of the Church and the Society.