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Katy Romanou

(b Athens, Greece, May 5, 1969). Greek musicologist specialising in Byzantine music, university professor, cantor, and choir conductor. Chaldaeakes studied theology at the University of Athens. Due to his musical talent and vast knowledge of church music, he was employed in 1992 in the newly established music department of the same university, to assist professor Gregorios Stathis, the first teacher of Byzantine music in the department. In 1998 he earned the PhD in musicology there, and in 1999 he was elected a faculty member of the music department.

He is a diligent and ingenious researcher, with over 150 publications in Greek and other languages on Byzantine and post-Byzantine music and musicians. His scientific competence is well represented in the voluminous collection of Stathis’ writings that he edited in 2001. Aiming at closer communication between Greek and Western musicologists, he has collaborated with musicologists in the USA, England, Austria, Denmark, and Russia. As of ...

Article

Armineh Grigorian

revised by Robert Atayan and Aram Kerovpyan

[Gomidas Vartabed; Soghomonian, Soghomon]

(b Kütahya, Turkey, Oct 8, 1869; d Paris, Oct 22, 1935). Armenian composer, ethnomusicologist, choral conductor, singer and teacher. One of the first Armenians to have a classical Western musical education, as well as instruction in the music of his own people, he laid the foundations for a distinctive national style in his many songs and choruses, all of which are deeply influenced by the folk and church traditions of Armenia. His work on Armenian folksong is also of musicological importance.

Robert Atayan, revised by Aram Kerovpyan

Both of his parents (his father Gevorg Soghomonian was a cobbler) had gifts for music and poetry; in 1881, however, the boy was orphaned and sent to Armenia to study at the Gevork’ian Theological Seminary in Vagharshapat (now Edjmiadzine), and was ordained as a celibate priest in 1894, being given the name Komitas (a 7th-century Catholicos who was also a hymn composer). There his beautiful voice and his musical talents attracted notice, and under Sahak Amatuni’s guidance he mastered the theory and practice of Armenian liturgical singing. He also made decisive contact with folksong, to the collection and study of which he gave himself wholeheartedly. When he had only just learnt Armenian modern notation he set about recording the songs of the Ararat valley peasants and immigrant Armenians of other regions. Although he had no knowledge of European music theory, he harmonized these songs for performance with a student choir at the academy. His earliest surviving collection of folk melodies dates from ...