Folk music had been developed in Armenian medieval cities. Urban folk music of the last two centuries was relatively extensive in its melodic style. Its roots are rural, there are many borrowings from gusan-ashugh, and there are also elements of Caucasian melodic music, as well as numerous high-quality samples of musical lyricism. At the same time, it is difficult to distinguish elements from ancient times, as Armenian urban songs and instrumental modes are recorded in very small quantities.
The main genres of Armenian urban folk music are: love, lyrical, domestic (cradle, table, entertainment), solo dance, partner dance etc. The lyrical songs, in which the sympathy of the peasants is heard and from a new point of view shows the social theme of the rural song, stand out. Most of them are national patriotic songs which developed since the 1860s. The theme of liberation has been found in both calm lyrical samples as well as in march songs and millitant songs. Patriotic songs have once played an important role in organizing the national consciousness of the people. Compared to the rural, urban songs generally have a more intimate, overt emotion, and are somewhat more distinctive in composition.
The base of the mode is almost the same. Alternative modes have been freely used, the melody has developed in simpler ways, the rhythmic composition has been relatively clear, and the formal structures have often been extensive especially in lyrical songs (double songs, extensive romance structures, or connections of two seperate slow and fast songs).
In relatively old songs and dance songs that is easy to perceive their locality: Yerevan, Alexandrapol (Gyumri), Van, Tiflis, Karabakh and others.
Verbal literary originals of the literary language are very different from the rural ones; they are mostly professional poems, often with well-known authors. Armenians living outside their homeland, like some ashughs, sometimes wrote foreign-language songs.
Typical examples of Armenian urban folk songs are; lyrical Love “Lusnak Gisher,Bolorovin Kun Chunem”, “Sareri Hovin Mernin”,”Dards Latsek Sari Smbul”, “Siruhis Kez Hamar” and “Aghjik Dun Sirun”, cradle “Kun Yeghir Balas”, on the rural theme: “Machkal es Bezarats es”, on the social theme “Arazn Yekav Apin Talov”, patriotic-liberation “Mayr Araksi Aperov”, “Arevn yelav Zeytuntsiner” and so on.
The medieval towns’ musical instruments are illustrated by miniature, historical references and old research writings. Those instruments have been partially destroyed, partly transformed. For the last two centuries the stringed instruments of the Armenian urban folk ensembles have been the localized versions of the Middle East common: Kemenche, kaman, oud, tar, bağlama, chongur, ruler, santur, wind instruments: shvi, duduk, zurna,drum instruments; dhol,tambourine, naghara(now is not used). Apart from song accompaniment, variety of solo dances and rituals, instrumental music includes extensive improvisational slow plays, usually rhythmic double plays and potpourris from various plays, solo or ensemble. The ensemble performance is unison, with many elements of improvisational heterophony, and the background music is widely used.
Urban folk music ensembles are often organized by professional polyphonic composition rules,and the ensembles are stringed, wind or mixed.In the overall dynamics of the performance, the drum instrument plays a special role, the musical part of which is differentiated and developed on its own. Virtuoso musicians have always stood out in the field of urban instrumental music, and their fame has spread beyond the homeland and the Transcaucasia to neighboring and distant eastern and European countries (A. Oganesashvili, L. Karakhan, and others).