FRESNO — The Armenian Studies Program announces the publication of Hachig Kazarian’s Western Armenian Music: From Asia Minor to the United States, Volume 18 in the Armenian Series of The Press at California State University, Fresno.

“Western Armenian Music is a comprehensive overview of the history and development of the traditional music brought by immigrants to the United States,” said Prof. Barlow Der Mugrdechian, general editor of the Armenian Series. “Kazarian’s depth of knowledge and research makes this book unique.”

Silenced for over one hundred years, the Western Armenian music brought to America by the first Armenian immigrants has become an integral part of Armenian culture in the United States. Western Armenian Music: From Asia Minor to the United States examines the many facets of Western Armenian music and how it has been neglected due to the Armenian Genocide of 1915.

“This book has taken me two long years to research, organize, and compile,” said Kazarian. “It is the product of my 60 plus years of performing, my formal musical education, and my endeavor to learn as much as I possibly could about Western Armenian folk music. The motivating factor for producing this book was the lack of concrete information and the misunderstanding of this wonderful form of Armenian music.”

The author discusses such topics as: the Modal System used in Armenian folk and sacred music since the 8th century; traits and characteristic elements of Armenian music; the 19th century Armenian musical notation created by Hampartsoum Limonjian; and the two contrasting styles of Western Armenian music performed in the United States. Western Armenian Music also describes how the children of the first-generation Armenian immigrants started Armenian bands as an effort to keep Armenian culture alive in the United States. As a way to preserve the music of the first immigrants to the United States, this volume also includes over 100 Armenian dance songs with notations.

“Knowledge used to be transmitted via the oral tradition, which created many inconsistencies. However, today, in order to perpetuate knowledge, scholars have written books and treatises so that information is accurately preserved,” stated Kazarian. “I have found that there is virtually no scholarly printed material on Western Armenian folk music. Therefore, this book will be an invaluable resource for the study of that music.”

Author Hachig Kazarian was born in Detroit, Michigan to immigrant parents of the Armenian Genocide. He is a retired secondary instrumental music educator with 46 years of teaching experience, which includes a suburban Detroit school system and the Clark County schools in Las Vegas, Nevada. He received his professional credentials from the Juilliard School of Music, where he earned a B.S. and M.A. degree in clarinet performance. He also attended Eastern Michigan University, where he received an M.A. degree in Music Literature/Ethnomusicology.

Kazarian has performed Western Armenian music for many Armenian churches, societies and patriotic organizations throughout the United States. He has been a leading role model for many young Armenian-American clarinetists for decades and performs as he was taught by an Armenian immigrant musician.

Western Armenian Music: From Asia Minor to the United States, is available, in both hardcover and paperback, for purchase from: Abril Bookstore, or the NAASR Bookstore,

All of the books in the Armenian Series can be found at the following website:

For bulk orders please contact the Armenian Studies Program, at 559.278.2669 or by email at [email protected].

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