On the Bright Name of Komitas

On the Bright Name of Komitas

To say that the world is not perfect means to say nothing. But it’s also clear that the “human eye” somehow gets used to this imperfection (in every society in its own way, depending on civilizational views, social status, or economic development).

But about six months ago, I came across a phenomenon where a “little” lie (although there is no small lie), around 90 years old, had been allowed to grow into a huge tree with its fruits. And it hadn’t been merely allowed – its roots had been watered as well.

Omitting the details, I’ll say that I somehow ended up in the “Yezidi Center” near the Metsamor Museum where a structure was built in which people pray to the Almighty. We met one Yezidi from Russia (judging by the number plate of his Navigator jeep) named Mirza. He began to represent the Yezidi Center which housed mixed monuments of Armenian and Yezidi leaders.

So, I “found out” that Usub Bek was a close friend of Komitas Archimandrite (?!), studied at the “Gevorgyan Theological Seminary”, and that, in general, the language that the to-be Archimandrite had spoken in childhood had not been Turkish (although this is also not true) but Yezidi, i.e. he had natively spoken the Yezidi language.

To my objections that nothing like this can be found in the letters of Komitas Archimandrite himself and the memoirs about him, he said that I was reading the wrong books. Much later, I found out that the book which my unexpected opponents referred to was printed in Armenian and Russian with annotations in English. And the scientific editor of this book was the deputy director of the Institute of History at the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia Karen Khachatryan… (no comment).

The root cause of this lie is another lie that was born immediately after Komitas Archimandrite’s illness. It claims that Komitas has allegedly written a thesis titled “Kurdish melody” in Germany. Unfortunately, this lie has already been introduced into the textbooks of the Komitas Conservatory in Yerevan.

Komitas was an unacceptable figure for the Young Turks. He actively promoted Armenian music in the capital of Turkey – for instance, he established the children’s choir “Gusan” with 300 (!) teenagers (factually a spiritual army).

He traveled (as a Turkish citizen) to Europe, gave concerts, lectures on the subject of Armenian sacred music, and the press applauded, calling his performances “Sensation of Armenian music”… Composer Gnesin visited Komitas to Istanbul and asked whether the Teacher had information about musical notes of ancient and medieval Jewish music…

Naturally, the Turkish authorities did not like the fame and respect that Komitas enjoyed in the music world. They thus once again decided to use the “Kurdish card” and slightly dilute Komitas’s dense and energetic activity. Because destroying the indigenous population was not enough – it was still necessary to falsify its cultural heritage.

Did this falsification harm the Armenian musical culture? Of course not! Subsequent generations used his real works and not some non-existent thesis.

However, another lie was built on this lie and is now actively promoted by the Kurds in Europe.

The question arises – how hasn’t this been noticed in our country? Well, there was Sovietization, and under the existing ideology of “friendship of peoples”, the Young Turkish lie took root very well, and then, you know, it would become a “normal” thing…

Gagik Harutyunyan, voskanapat.info

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