Taghs

The tagh is a genre of Armenian music. Taghs can be both secular and spiritual. The latter are sung in the Armenian Church at certain points during the Divine Liturgy and are composed for different feasts. The differences between spiritual taghs and the Armenian Church's main canonical hymns (called "sharakans" in Armenian) are the non-canonical and non-official status of taghs and their free style as regards both melody and lyrics.

St Gregory of Narek wrote many taghs for different feasts. While their lyrics have reached us, the melodies of only six of them have survived. The tagh "Havik" (literally, "small bird"), the authenticity of which is still disputed, has reached us in more than one version of the melody.

Below you will find both the translated lyrics and also the musical scores of those taghs of St Gregory, the melodies of which have survived. The musical scores are taken from the book by Nikoghayos Tahmizyan "Gregory of Narek and the Armenian Music of the V-XV Centuries" (Yerevan 1985, in Armenian).

The translators and sources of the translations are mentioned at the end of each of the taghs.

At the end of this webpage, you can also listen to some audio recordings of these taghs.

Collection of Taghs (in Armenian), Constantinople 1714