St. Nersess Armenian Seminary has recently been gifted a vast collection of recorded Armenian liturgical music now available to the public. The collection, believed to be the largest of its kind, contains over 150 albums (or playlists) of recorded Armenian sacred music from the 1950’s to the present day. The library contains over 12,000 minutes (eight days) of church music, digitized and archived from records, audio cassette, MP3s and CDs and stored on a single iPod. The entire collection is now conveniently available in a searchable, organized and indexed format for use by the general public, seminarians, scholars or researchers.
In addition to several recorded versions of familiar Yegmalian and Gomidas Divine Liturgies, the Danielian Library features hundreds of sharagans or hymns from seasonal and special services of the Armenian Church. Also included are tracks suitable for training clergy, altar servers, deacons and choirs serving parishes in the United States and abroad as well as live recording from around the world including Etchmiadzin, Antelias, Constantinople, Venice, Jerusalem, Europe and the Americas. Currently, over 2,000 songs comprise the music library.
“St. Nersess already stands out as a unique place of learning and scholarship within the Armenian Church, and with the addition of the Danielian Liturgical Music Library, the seminary has even more to offer its students and the public at large,” stated Saro Kalayjian speaking on behalf of the Kalayjian Family who donated the collection. “My father had started the collection decades ago. I was happy to continue the process and make it available to the general public in a format that any student, music lover or researcher can utilize in an edifying and enriching manner.”
The collection aims to be exhaustive and will be expanded over the coming years as more music is released and as obscure albums of the past are acquired and digitized. Parishes and community members who have live recordings of sacred music are encouraged to contribute copies of the music for inclusion in the library. The Danielian Liturgical Music Library is available for exploration and listening by appointment at St. Nersess Seminary in New Rochelle, NY. Gradually, portions of the library will be available on-line. A comprehensive discography will be made available on the St. Nersess website: www.stnersess.edu. For more information about the library please email firstname.lastname@example.org.