Armenian Rock Music

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Rock and roll is a musical genre, originated from United States. It was greatly restricted for most of the period Armenia was under Soviet rule as american anti-communist influence, but following the loosening of control in the early 1980s, a number of Armenian rock bands became prominent. The first was Thessilk, who formed in 1983.

In 1982 a band called Bambir won the Folk Music Award at the International Festival in Lida, Belarus. They combined rock with Armenian folk and classical music. Later folk-rock bands include Vostan Hayots.

Later in the 80s, as the Soviet rock scene grew larger, bands like Ayas found international audiences. Ayas formed in 1987, and only a year later won Yerevan's Rock, Rock, Rock Festival best composition of the year award. They later won the Sisian Rock Festival as well.

In the early 1990s, an Armenian progressive rock scene developed. Dumbarton Oaks was one of the first to combine rock with classical music, in compositions like "Once Upon a Time There Lived a Cadence". Later in the decade, bands like Artsruni and Oaksenham gained an international following.

Some of the leading Armenian rock musicians are drummer Marek Zaborsky, who performs with a dozen local bands in Yerevan, guitarist Arthur Margarian, singer Samvel Tsovak etc. All of these musicians often experiment with folk-rock ganre and are quite successful today.

Other popular Armenian rock bands include AlterEgo Lav Eli, Beerdigungs Läuten, Empyray, Manic Depression (MDP) and Bambir(2) (formed by the son of one the members of the original band Bambir).

America's System of a Down can also be considered Armenian rock. The band Aviatic contains Armenian band members. Poland also has an Armenian rock band called 36i6 Band.

Later in 2000, young rock bands SARD from Yerevan and Bambir 2 from Gyumri appear on stage. Although the audience in Armenia remains exceedingly small for local rock groups, SARD, Bambir 2 and recently, Vordan Karmir, Reincarnation have received media attention, especially after their videos were shown on local television. The revived MDP and Oaksenham in addition to Bambir 2 and Empyray today are the trademark holders of quality made Armenian rock

A very good overview of Armenian Rock music can be found at the Arm in Rock website.

See also