Sourp Komidas Vartabed
The Musical Instrument - ZURNA

Komidas hated the sound of the musical instrument called 'Zurna' describing it as "terrible, scowling, tasteless, hard and of disgusting sounds"

The Musical Instrument - ZURNA
Gomidas Vartabed at a pilgrimage.                                                                                                                                                             
Taken from the book “The Genius Of Gomidas” by Archbishop Torkom Manoogian, 1987 NY.

"Alas, what a great blow has been struck to those natural, poetic, meaningful and loving dances by the uncouth, tasteless and hard zurna. The pilgrimage site has lost its real signifi-cance and has been converted into a place for zurna players (zurnajies) and particularly for eating and drinking. Every nearby and faraway village brings a group of its own zurna players. Imagine a courtyard, ten zurna players, in groups, in this or that corner, or in the middle of the courtyard, frequently playing simultaneously. A crowded throng -- there is no place to drop a needle. The lofty mountains, the deep valleys reverberate the echoes of a dozen zurnas. The terrible, incessant, scowling sounds are an unbearable din. Try to enter your room, to firmly close your door, but in vain. The disgusting sounds of the zurna even penetrate the walls. For one and one-half days straight we surrendered our ears and our fibers to their disposition. Finally, on the second day, in the afternoon, each one withdrew to his village, returned to his work.

"When the monastery attained its former serene peace, I complained bitterly to my friend Yervant Vartabed. I revealed my wrath and bitter grief towards zurna music, that the real, authentic, poetic songs have vanished.”
Gomidas Vatabed
Articles and Researches - Yerevan

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