by Zura Gigineishvili
Music unites people and brings them together. Most countries have their own style of music, their traditional instruments and their own unique artists. From “Chakrulo”, which was chosen to accompany the voyager craft back in 1977, to “Mzeo”, which won the Junior Eurovision song contest, it could be said that Georgian music is pretty unique and loved by many. But do Georgian teenagers and the future of the country appreciate it? Will it stay in our culture or be forgotten? Today with the help of our students and music teachers we are going to talk about this theme in detail and try to find answers.
The survey has been made throughout the school and students were asked several questions, the first being if they listen to Georgian music. Here are the results:
From the 46 people who participated in the poll, answers “yes” and “no” got the same amount of votes. People who answered “Yes” had various reasons as to why:
There is no reason not to like it, it’s as diverse as other cultures;
Georgian folk music is really different from others;
It’s interesting to listen to;
It’s really pleasing to listen to my language in a song;
Some songs are very calming;
Because it brings back a lot of childhood memories.
Also, answers included some who said that they wanted to play Georgian music
on some instruments, or had a project where they had to get information about the language. Of course, people who said “No” had their reasons as well, some of them include:
I prefer foreign/English songs;
I don't dislike it but not really to listen;
It isn’t my preferred style of music most of the time;
I don’t vibe with it;
Other than some classics, a lot of songs need to be worked on a little more;
Most of the time it’s boring;
Let’s ask one of the GZAAT students, Ilia Dzneladze, who also plays guitar and is a big music lover what he thinks about this matter.
(I) - Interviewer
(IL) - Ilia
(I) - Hello Ilia, first of all, thank you for the interview. My first question is, have you ever played a Georgian song on your guitar? Why have you or have you not done it?
(IL) - Yes, or at least I've tried to play “Qagaldis Gemi” by Irakli Ccharkviani. It's probably the only notable Georgian song that I've learned. Charkviani is a great artist, even though he wrote these songs and performed them in the midst of the 90s, his songs speak to me even today, as a person who has NOT experienced that time.
(I) - Do you think Georgian music is any different from others?
(IL) - Yes and no. I believe that our songs, even modern ones, differ because our language is very unique, but western music definitely had an influence on us. I believe that western instruments take away the "Georgianness" of songs, and if we want to keep it, we should try to incorporate traditional Georgian instruments back into songs like Niaz Diasamidze or TAMADA do.
(I) - Do you think Georgian music should be played more on instruments?
(IL) - Well it depends. Let's say it's a rap song by KayaKata. Hip-Hop is its own genre and doesn't need a chonguri, for instance, on the beat. KayaKata songs even have influences from poetry. But, again, if we want the Georgian identity to shine through, we should strive to use those instruments because I think there is a lot to be done with them, music-wise.
(I) - Thank you so much for the interview!
(IL) - Thanks!
The second question that participants were asked is “Do you think Georgian music is unique and different?” and here are the results:
The 80% of the participants also mentioned their favorite, unique Georgian artists, here are some of the popular answers:
Most of the songs mentioned are also from the artists in this list, for example, Mgzavrebi’s “Mgrzavruli” and “Sait midixar” from Irakli Charkviani and Ketato.
In an interview with GZAAT’s music teacher, Lika Nizharadze, who discussed this topic in detail and stated her opinion.
(I) - Hello! Thank you for agreeing to an interview.
(L) - Thank you for writing about something this interesting, my pleasure.
(I) - My first question is, do you generally think teenagers should listen to Georgian music? What good would they get from this?
(L) - I can not force anyone to listen to Georgian music. Of course, it will be good if they listen to Georgian folk songs. Even better if they study folk music from childhood, sing in any ensemble or choir. What will they get from this? Many things! First of all, they will get acquainted with the folk culture of their country, which is an integral part of world culture.
(I) - Do you think Georgian music is unique?
(L) - Yes, Georgian music and especially folklore is truly unique, so we Georgians can be proud of it without too much humility. Every corner of Georgia has its own unique folk music and their songs are as different from each other as the people living there. The songs of this corner are admired by many famous composers and they are really different from everyone else. Such polyphony is nowhere to be found in the whole world. I think even Bach would have appreciated our music.
(I) - I agree with you, but what do you think about modern Georgian music? Do you have any favorites?
(L) - It is better not to ask me about modern Georgian pop music. Sure, there are a lot of talented young people with very good skills, but I think most of them lack the trait that sets them apart from the others and makes them different. To me, they are of no interest. However, this is my personal opinion. As for my favorites, I would say Nino Katamadze, Niaz Diasamidze, Irakli Charkviani from contemporary Georgian musicians. You may or may not like their creations, but they imitate no one and offer their own style.
(I) - Where do you think Georgian music is going at the moment? Could teenagers save it or will it be forgotten?
(L) - I find it hard to answer. I think there is a problem all over the world because nothing new is being created. I have high hopes that this is temporary. It is impossible to put an end to the development of music through electronic music.
(I) - Finally, do you have any songs to suggest? Or any songs you love in general?
(L)-Yes, there are six songs I would suggest at the moment.
Here are links to all of the songs Lika Nizharadze has suggested:
Another music teacher at our school, Lika Asatiani, stated her opinion about this matter:
(I)-Hello! Thank you for agreeing to do an interview. My first question is do you think teenagers should listen to Georgian music?
(LA) - I think music is for everyone, but the question in this context would be what kind of music are teenagers listening to. I have been teaching for a very long time, before GZAAT I was teaching at the conservatory, so from my experience I could say that a bulk of people, meaning teenagers, don’t know a treasure Georgian music is. What they are interested in is narrowed down to the music that is popular. If you go to youtube and compare Justin Bieber’s and Mozart’s views, you will understand what nowadays people listen to, but that of course doesn’t mean Mozart is worse than Justin Bieber as a musician. People nowadays love pop and rock, but of course, the main success and amazingness of Georgian music don’t come from these genres. Our treasure is Georgian folk music, it’s an amazing fact of how popular it got even in early years and how it was worked on. All of us need to be proud of Georgian music. On the question, if teenagers listen to Georgian folk, sadly from my experience they don’t, and it’s really sad because it’s who we are and will be in the future. We Georgians also have unique film music and it would be amazing if students knew more about that as well. Most of the time, other than maybe Gia Kancheli, students don’t even know Georgian composers.
(I) - Do you like modern Georgian music? Would you suggest or tell us some of your favorite Georgian songs?
(LA)-I like music in general, there are good musicians and musicians who don’t have experience, it depends on who we are talking about. Time has changed, with remixes to the songs and other effects on them, there are other priorities in music. One thing I don’t like is when a folk music remix is done and the tempo is lost, and the main focus for the musician is about marketing. I won’t say any favorites, but Revaz Lagidze’s songs, Giorgi Tsabadze’s songs, Sulkhan Tsintsadze, Bidzina Kvernadze, and other Georgian professional composers who have been doing their work for a very long time are amazing. Modern Georgian musicians have people who do compositions for their songs. Imagine if Mozart did this back in the day? I wouldn’t say I have any favorites.
(I) - Does Georgian music have a future?
(LA) - Of course, it does, in any path. But, for example, in Georgian pop and rock, if I was making it I would change some things, but let’s not argue about that. Methodically I think Georgian music is thriving for the best. Also, I want to add that this is a really interesting article and I want to say thank you for taking the time to write about this.
(I)-Thank you very much!
From this article, it could be said that Georgian music has a future and more of it should be included in newer songs and all of us should appreciate it even more. What your culture is and its future should be really important and crucial for people who are the future generation.
Edited by Iviko Sakvarelidze