ethnomusicologist, PhD in Arts, Researcher at the Department of Folk Music of the Institute of Arts of the National Academy of Sciences of RA, Lecturer at the Chair of Armenian Folk Music Studies of the Komitas State Conservatory. She has defended a dissertation thesis entitled Traditional Armenian Wedding Chants Within the Context of the Ancient Rite in 2016. Tigranyan is the author of a number of articles. Her major topics of academic interest include the traditional Armenian wedding rite.
THE “LORIK” TRADITIONAL EPITHALAMIUMS IN KOMITAS’S TRANSCRIPTIONS
The Armenian tradition of folk song creation has numerous examples, when the songs losing their functional role and significance within the course of time, or, on the contrary, obtaining new functions and applications, have transferred from one genre to the other and localized there. How is a song or a dance classified under a genre? What is the structural (melodic, prosodic) principle to be guided by when defining a genre for a song?
A kind of duality in genres is typical to some lyrical and love songs, which can be classified into a number of bride-epithalamium songs. In this case, the penetration of typical phrases of one genre into the other is natural.
In this regard, Lorik songs transcribed by Komitas, being brilliant examples of Armenian peasant songs, are especially interesting. The title Lorik is conditional (each song ends with the refrain Lorik, lorik, lorik) and includes the songs Gatsi arter, brni lor (I went to the fields, I caught a quail), Aravotun bari lus (Good morning), and Aravot lor mtav art (A quail came into the field in the morning). Komitas mentioned that those songs were examples of transition from one genre to the other. He classified them into two different genres: wedding song and lyrical song.
When singing lyrical and love songs, the folk singer manifests his/her inner world and his personal approach using emotion born in a certain situation and typical only to that particular performer. The wedding songs, by contrast, concentrate and save features typical to national traditional songs, which have been accumulated through centuries.
My explorations, as well as the comparative analyses of similar examples in other ethnographic sources demonstrate that the melodies of the above-mentioned songs are not just a transformation from one genre into another, but are rather a complete set of traditional ceremonial epithalamiums to the bride. Despite the distortions and disintegrations over time, these songs have maintained their melodic individuality. The metro-rhythmic, prosodic and melodic features typical to the Loriks can be explained only by the “traditionality” of the ceremonial songs, which derive from the formulaic structural principal pertinent to wedding songs.