What do we generally know about the armenology of Khazer, the writing symbols of medieval Armenian music?
According to Hrachya Acharyan, the word “Khazer” was borrowed from Caucasian languages and means “a line, a writing, a record mark, the groove-like lines of a pillar or hand, the crack at the end of an arrow”. And perhaps the Caucasian languages were borrowed from us.
We know that Armenian accent and division signs are largely included in Khazer.
Khazer represents a complex system of musical symbols, containing 3 to 4 additional sub-systems.
Khazography comprised three interdependent accent and music systems. The notation was formed as early as the 8th century, and the origin and initial implementation of the idea are associated with the name of Stepanos Syunetsi, although it is possible that it has deeper roots.
Grigor Grzik Ayrivanetsi, an 8th-century Armenian scholar, singer-performer of spiritual music, was involved in the development of Khazography. He worked with Stepanos Syunetsi II, with whom, for scientific purposes, they went to Athens, studied the Bible and its interpretations, and familiarized themselves with the old and new teachings of philosophy.
Grigor Grzik lived as an ascetic for many years in one of the caves near Ayrivank, where he died. A chapel has been built over his grave, considered the miracle-worker of Ayrivanetsi. His creations and works were summarized in later collections called “Manrusumn” or “Khazgirk”.
Anania Narekatsi, Khachatur Taronatsi, Nerses Shnorhali, Tovma Metsopetsi, Grigor Khal, Gevorg Skevratsi, Grigor Khlatetsi and others also contributed to the growth and development of calligraphy.
It is thought that in the first half of the 19th century, there were still very few people who knew how to read Khazer. Most scientists are against moving the khazer problem into a spiritual and mystical realm, and consider that it is purely a scientific problem and can be solved – at least theoretically, there is a prospect of a solution.
And the fact that so far the khazer have only been partially deciphered is due to the fact that Armenian and foreign khazer have not carried out consistent work in this field. We’re not talking about the work of a single khazologist, let’s say Komitas, but about the number of generations of khazologists that we Armenians have raised, who have tried to work and discover from the point where the previous one ended, to continue and reach the next stage.
It has not been studied step by step by several generations of khazologists. In this field, all our talented and dedicated khazologists began studying khaz 10-50 years independently of each other.