Armenian Music in Jordan’s Cultural Milieu

The artifact that I chose to analyze was a performance of an Armenian folk song, sung by the Armenian Choir of Jordan. With no understanding of the Armenian language, but some understanding of the way music is used as a universal language, I tried to observe the way the melody and harmony worked to give meaning to the words being sung. As I listened, I began to wonder: How does this piece and performance tie into Armenian national and cultural identity within Jordan? Through learning about the Armenian genocide and the plight of Armenians in Jordan, the emotion of the piece began to come through. The chorus, in places, conveys a very somber, mournful tone, clear without knowing the lyrics. I thought about folk music, and how various cultures throughout the world utilize it as an expression of cultural identity, to be shared and sung not only among friends but with strangers as well. This song could have come about as a response to the terrible genocide against the Armenian people, or could have been created to encapsulate a part or a whole statement regarding the Armenian culture and way of life. As it enters the cultural milieu of Jordan, it remains relevant to Armenians but becomes part of the Jordanian culture as well, owing to Jordan’s Armenian population. This continues a cultural dialogue, and helps to bring communities together through common cultural artifacts. The idea of global citizenship would encourage this kind of intercultural dialogue in order to bring about a shared understanding of cultural norms and practices the world over, as part of being a global citizen involves putting some thought and effort into understanding people who live in vastly different situations and circumstances, and whose histories may be less permanent than one’s own.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *