Doctor of Arts, musicologist-medievalist, Honored Worker of Art of RA, Professor, Vice-Rector for Research Affairs of the Komitas State Conservatory in Yerevan, Head of the Folk Music Department of the Institute of Arts of the National Acad­emy of Sciences of RA, Senior Research­er, Chairman of the Scientific Council of the Komitas Museum-Institute, Artistic Director of the Geghard Vocal Ensemble. Navoyan is the author of more than 40 articles and the following monographs: The Origin of the Tał Genre and Free Musical Mentality in the Armenian Medieval Profes­sional Song Art (2001), Fragments from the History of Armenian Music (2009). His re­search is focused on Armenian medieval music, the eight-mode system in the Ar­menian music, Armenian art music, etc.


At the end of the XIX and beginning of the XX centuries the Armenian musical thought became a part of the Armenian national self-identity paradigm as a re­sult of several fundamental principles presented by Komitas. One of his musi­cal-aesthetic and theoretical definitions suggests that the relationship between traditional Armenian secular and sacred music should be seen as relationship a between sister and brother. This seem­ingly simple definition was of great sig­nificance then and continues to be such today.
Until the second half of the XIX century the Armenian language, along with the other branches of Armenian culture, in­cluding music, were still considered as phenomena within the other Oriental cultures, often considered as having de­rived from the latter or lacking their own typical characteristics. The concept pro­posed by Komitas is extremely important for revealing the main features of the Ar­menian musical thought as well as the fundamental unity of the various areas of the Armenian music culture. The “Sister and Brother approach” primarily consid­ers various branches of Armenian music culture as manifestations of a unified system of musical thought, therefore, ex­cluding the assumptions about the latter having been borrowed or having a for­eign origin.
Komitas played an exceptional role in the history of Armenian music also because of his ability to use the results of his musico­logical and theoretical research as an es­sential foundation for putting forward and developing new concepts. Addressing those concepts with contemporary meth­ods of theoretical research can provide additional arguments proving the funda­mental nature of Komitas’s principles.
For the sake of revisiting that issue we present a comparative study of two re­search works of equal value: the first one conducted by T. Shakhkulyan and E. Bise­si, who examined the singing fragments of the Sasna Crēr epic recorded by Komi­tas, and the second one conducted by M. Navoyan and E. Bisesi, which addressed Komitas’s recordings of the tałs by St. Grigor Narekatsi.