Komitas was one of the first Armenian musicians to undergo classical Western musical training, in Berlin, in addition to music education in his own country. He was educated in a theological seminary in Vagharshapat, and ordained a priest in 1894. A gifted singer, he studied liturgical singing and early Armenian chant notation. He also developed a keen interest in folksong, and collected melodies which he would then harmonise for choral performance. He published both folksong collections and writings on Armenian church melodies, and his work laid the foundations for the development of a clearly defined national musical style. He moved to Constantinople in 1910, a city with a significant Armenian population, and continued to compose (predominantly vocal music), conduct and research.
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