After the Sovietization of Armenia new opportunities are created for the development of music culture: opened new studios, music schools, opera and conservatory and may other institutions. At the same time music became one of the most important ideological parts of the ruling regime, servicing to people in order to create an appropriate moral-psychological atmosphere. But ideological burden doesn’t hinder further strengthening and development of Armenian music traditions.There were written works that gave traditional and contemporary feelings. Since the First Republic of Armenia there have been famous composers, performers and musicians.
Music art in 1920-30s
In 1921 music studio was opened in Erevan, according to which was founded conservatory (1923). In their formation composer and musician-public figure R. Meliqyan had a great role. Soon a symphony orchestra, a choir have been established next to the conservatory. At that time folk and ashug music propaganda groups were created (including folk instruments ensemble), chamber ensembles, including later a well-known quartet named after Komitas, music publishing, music radio shows.
Concert life had been organized, that includes performances by prominent local and touring musicians. In Leninakan (Gyumri) 1925 was opened music studio; in Erevan 1929 was opened music school. From the first years Soviet Armenian music has acted as a continuation of the progressive traditions of the national music culture of the past. A unique link was the work of composers who, coming down to the creative arena in the late 19th century, were actively involved in the development of the new musical art of Armenia. Especially was a big the role of A. Spendarian, who in 1924 moved Erevan.
In the Soviet period his works included different genres, due to which musical means of expression discovered by him were crucial in establishing the unique national style of Armenian symphonism. R. Meliqyan’s“vocal cycles that conclude the period of the formation of classical Armenian romance” are distinguished by national identity. A. Ter-Gevondyan wrote the first symphonic songs of the program with national plot.
Elegant small musical compositions written by Barxudaryan enriched the Armenian piano music, occupying a solid place in the concert, and especially in the pedagogical repertoire. N. Tigranyan made successful attempts to symbolize the mughams. In 1930s new centers of musical culture were made. In 1933 Yerevan Opera House (from 1939 Opera and Ballet theatre named after A. Spendarian, from 1956 academic) was opened with staging of “Almast” opera. In creating a national opera schedule was also important A. Tigranyan’s stage of “Anush” opera with new, expanded and recycled content.
Armenian Philharmonic (1932) became an important centre for music. Symphonic concerts were systemic in nature; new music groups were being created: Armenian folk song-dance ensemble (1938), State pop orchestra of Armenia (1938), Armenian gusan song ensemble named after Sayat-Nova (1938). In 1932 Armenian composers’ union was formed. A. Xachatryan’s art is one of the largest forms of Soviet music. In 1930s his first works were widely recognized, he was one of the greatest composers of modern times. Xachatryanenriched Armenian music with new content, significantly expanded genres, created first national ballet, first symphony and first instrumental concerts. In his works he didn’t seek to preserve the immunity of folk tunes. They were a way of expressing his creative ideas, ideas of modernity for the composer.
Stepayna’s work in the field of music theatre has been successful. In “Sasunci Davit” epic opera (1936) creatively united elements of ancient gusan and spiritual music. The mass song has further developed in the works of Mirzayan, Zaqaryan, Mazmanyan, Talyan, Kzartmyan, Satyan and Ayvazyan. Successes in making new romances are connected with work of Stepanyan. Great attention has been paid to choral arrangements of folk songs. The first songs written for chamber ensembles came out.
Music art in 1940-50s
During the years of the Great Patriotic War, despite the harsh conditions, in Armenia concert and music cultural life has not been interrupted. Like literature, music also became the most serious ideological propaganda of patriotism and peace. The power of fighter, works praising courage were created, existing ones were being processed, particularly folk origin. In the field of national opera art was widely processed historical-heroic topic.
Theatre of opera and ballet had a great activity, which made a number of significant performances. In Erevan 1942 State Theater of musical Comedy was opened, which has played an important role for the development of mass genre. During the years of War has grown importance of song work. “Song of fighter” by A. Atayan was widely recognized. In 1944 state anthem of Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic was created. Deep and varied incarnation of Soviet patriotism was founded in symphonic works. In 1942 “Gayane” ballet was released.
Music Art During 1960-80s
In the post-war years, the art of performing was raised to a new degree, there were created classical, variety, jazz and other types of works. Though the ideological influence was still strong Armenian music kept its age-old folk traditions, combining then with a new breath of modernity. Music institutions also flourished. Conductor M.Maluncyan did a great job in recreating the Armenian Philharmonic Symphony orchestra. G.Khanjyanpromoted the new activity of orchestra and gave a great place to the national playlist. A. Ter-Hovhannisyan played a great role in performing art of The State Choir of Armenia, then Chekijyan`scontribution promoted choir`s activity, expended its playlist, making it one of the best collections of Soviet Union.
In many countries of the world Komitas`s art of quartet gained the recognition of the audience. At the same time there were created a lot of new performing teams.
The symphony orchestra of television and radio, The Choir of Armenia, The Choir named after A.Ter-Hovhannisyan which expended the chances of propaganda of Armenian symphonic and choral music,Yerevan Chamber Orchestra and Philharmonic Chamber Ensemble were formed. Their creation coincided with one of the trends, (post-classical and early classical) rising of the natural interest of thaincient music as well as promoted the creations of the Armenian composers in the area of a new music being written for chamber orchestra.TV and radio cellist ensemble became famous.
In different cities of Armenia (Kirovakan, Leninakan, Stepanavan) there were organized popular holidays for songs, folk philharmonics, Folk conservatories,”pupil`sphilharmonic”.Thousand performers took part in artistic self-activity reviews. There were created amateur chamber orchestras,quartets, variety ensembles, ethnographic groups. The best factory and student groupswent for tours to Soviet Union and out of it. The creation of the Choir Company of Armenia also contributed to the success of self-activity.
In 1960-70s Soviet-Armenian music groups (among them Opera and Ballet thatre after Spendiaryan, Komitas quartet, State Choir of Armenia song and dance ensembles, pop and chamber orchestras and others) performed in over 80 countries around the world.
There were great changes in the field of music.Composingworks were presented many times. A.Khachatryan`s “Spartak” ballet was a great contribution to Soviet music. G.Yeghiazaryan`s music was characterized by epic breath and national bright colors and A.Harutyunyan`s songs by bright lyricism, livelyness, melody. A.Babajanyan`s music had dramatic shades and psychological depth had E.Mirzoyan`smusic. E.Hovhanniisyan was successfuly composing in various genres. Traditional perceptions of the nation extended T.Mansuryan`s new works, rich in subtle and phonetic colors.
In 1970-80s symphonic and chamber-intrumental music occupied a leading position. The achievements of the Armenian composers were particularly great in symphonic genre, which proved the professional high level and maturity of the Armenian modern music and works.
During this time in vocal-symphonic music there were reflected modernity, the relevance of the historical past, the important themes and events of historical past.The search process of the deepening of psychological content of musical characters was continuing in new methods and musical means of expressions.
Armenian soloists achieved great success in international and all-union competitions.
The activity of the ones who propagated folk art was being contued under T.Altunyan`s leadership.Armenian son and dance ensemble reached a high artistic level, developed a unique style of performance and stood out with its simplicity, naturalness and similarity to art spirit. Ensemble of folk instruments of TV and radio (since 1967 A.Merangulyan) was rebuilt and there was adapted polyphonic principle of performance. From newly formed groups stood out Armenian State ensemble of dance.Famous artists of folk music were A.Gyulzadyan, Sh. Mkrtchyan, O.Hambardzumyan, A.Baghdasaryan, A.Ter-Abrahamyan,H.Badalyan,R.Matevosyan as well as duduk players M.Margaryan, L.Madoyan,V.Hovsepyan, J.Gasparyan, tar player M.Seyranyan, kamancha players L.Karakhanyan,D.Mirzoyan, kanon players Kh.Avetisyan, A.Atabekyan.
During the Soviet period the art of gusans was developed successfuly. The songs of Sheram,Havasi, Shahen, Ashot and others were spread greatly.
In 1970s variety music made significant progress.Armenianvariety choir continued combining search of modern jazz, variety music and national music materials.The team of TV and radio variety choir was organized(since 1972 variety-symphonic).
In the confirmation of the new style of Armenian variety music was remarkable the songs and instrumental plays of A.Babajanyan,K.Orbelyan, R.Amirkhanyan, E.Baghdasaryan,A.Achemyan,M.SHaqaryan Aram SatyanR.Galstyan.
Since the second half of 1970s there was developed a new genre for music chamber orchestra.The successes in that genre were due to the works od young composers who created a number of unique compositions.Among them were M.Israyelyan,A.Zohrabyan, V.Babayan,E.Hayrapetyan.Therewere created children`s songs.