Recorded Sharakan, Vagharsahpat, 1875.
Melody / Lyrics
The Fourth mode. “Dominum in Caelis” or “Lord in Heaven” ("Ter Herknits”) hymn from the canon dedicated to Prophet St. David and Apostle St. Hakob (James). Hymns, or sharakans in Armenian, are medieval sacred songs and have been performed at religious celebrations for centuries. They are arranged in canons proper to the several days of the church year. The word derives from the root sharg denoting order or sequence, and each canon is divided into rhythmical sections. The songs for the same holiday are united in song cycles consisted of eight series. Each unit of the series is called sharakan (literally “row of pearls”), or hymnal, and the whole series is called a canon, or karg. Each canon is composed from eight different sharakans, each of which has its own name. The hymns are sung according to the medieval Armenian system of octoechos (classification of melody-types in eight modes) used in the Armenian Liturgical Chant. Each of these sharakans, or sections, of a complete canon is sung in one of the eight modes.