“Mugham and Armenian Music: Preliminary Perspectives”

Jonathan Hollis, PhD student
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
ARISC Fellow

DATE: August 7, 2018
TIME: 12:00pm
LOCATION: Eurasia University, Azatutyun 24/2, Room 419, Yerevan, Armenia

Music has been an important part of national narratives in the Caucasus, from the polyphonic vocal tradition of Georgia, the iconic Lezginka of the Northern Caucasus, to the classical mugham of Azerbaijan. In Armenia, national musical narratives have concentrated on the songs of ashughs such as Sayat Nova and Jivani, folk songs and dances transcribed by Komitas Vardapet, and the pre-eminent national instrument, the duduk. My project seeks to explore connections and collaborations between Armenian and Azeri musicians before the Nagorno-Karabakh war, current attitudes toward mugham in Armenia and how the musical materials and practices of mugham have influenced Armenian music historically. As part of this project, I will interview Armenian musicians, some of whom grew up in Azerbaijan, who still practice and teach mugham improvisation. It is my goal to use the life histories of Armenian mugham musicians to further understand connections between musical genres and ethnic communities in conflict in the South Caucasus.

Jonathan Hollis is a PhD Student in Ethnomusicology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an ARISC Fellow. Jonathan’s research focuses on music in the global Armenian community. His Master’s project involves music-making in the Armenian diaspora community of Toronto, Canada, and the musical manifestations of politics and collective memory. He has received Foreign Language and Area Studies fellowships to study both Russian and Eastern Armenian.

This event is free and open to the public. The event is hosted by Eurasia International University and sponsored by the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC).

ARISC does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, physical or mental disability, medical condition, ancestry, marital status, age, sexual orientation, or status as a covered veteran.