unnamed-3Rita Sharoyan, the director of “”Hayart” cultural centre and the creator of a number of films on artists, initiated the film series “Ancient Musical Instruments” nine years ago, each film in the series tells about one musical instrument. Kanon, bagpipe, duduk, zurna, Kamancha: these musical instruments have been with us from the ancient times and are often found in our neighbouring countries. They are also “source of discord”, as each of Eastern peoples considers those musical instrument as their own. The film series doesn’t specifically aim at highlighting their Armenian origin and identity, it simply represents historical information derived from the testimonies of different historians and collectors. “Ancient Musical Instruments” itself has folkloric significance as well, as it collects and completes even the smallest details about the instruments, quoting historical figures, professionals, and even the foreign writ. Not adopting the tendencies of the Armenization of everything, the film series represents the historical information without bias, just the way the history has delivered them to us.

unnamed-2-300x245Rita Sharoyan has dedicated the regular 8th movie of the “Ancient Musical Instruments” film series to the tar. For 12 years already we regret to note that Azerbaijan managed to persuade UNESCO to recognize the tar as an intangible Azerbaijani cultural value. The project of the documentary movie “Ancient Musical Instruments: Tar” was created a few month ago, that is after the Azerbaijani falsification. “This film has not been shot in order to give a response to the UNESCO or Azerbaijan, although there are a couple of sentences reflecting that painful reality, but it has been done in a quiet and discreet manner. I think we have much more serous reasons to fight for, than fighting for the tar. Instead, we must stand up for our culture, defend and popularize it. Tar has such a rich history and past that concentrating on the Azerbaijani falsification would mean to simply ignore the original message, the tremendous heritage delivered to us for nothing. The tar has existed from the ancient times, and has been delivered to us. This musical instruments is linked to the names of both Armenian and foreign musicians, who has given a new life to the instrument through their artistry and skills. This is a wonderful, extremely interesting and mysterious story that I have wanted to deliver to everyone. This is a great, priceless value,” Rita Sharoyan touched upon the controversial issue of the national identity of the tar.

In addition to its ancient usage, the film presents the changes and the development that the musical instrument has undergone, the traces that different masters have left on making unnamed-300x241and using it. Rita Sharoyan has intended to present the tar not as a museum specimen, but as a cultural value, that has passed through centuries and is still used. Generally each intangible value becomes more valuable when it continues to be used, to be needed by generations: “Today we also have wonderful masters, it refers to both the tar players and the tar makers. The generation should know them so that the biography and the story of the tar continue. And one of the best means to communicate this information is the film, which I think will have a long live, and the screen will tell the story of the tar from generation to generation. I have expressed my respect and love towards our musical instruments, master musicians and our history and culture. I don’t speak about the national identity of the musical instruments, it is evidenced by the historians in their works. The film series speaks the language of facts,” Rita Sharoyan said before the premiere.

At the premiere of documentary movie “Ancient Musical Instruments: Tar”, our intellectuals have expressed a desire that the films be shown on TV and these stories become universal.

Naira Paytyan