We all have our favorite Armenian wedding bands and singers, and more recently, DJs. Their music is the pulse of the party and their energy keeps the night going. As their stars rise and fall over the years, the sounds and faces of these artists continually turn over, keeping up with the changing soundscape of our times. But for hundreds of years, there has been one unchanging tune at Armenian weddings: the everlasting duet of the zurna and the dhol.
This week we spoke with Vrej Sarkissian, CEO of Anoush Catering and L.A. Banquets to discuss traditional Armenian music played at weddings. Vrej explained the zurna is an oboe-like reed instrument that was developed in the ancient Middle East and Caucasus regions. Traditionally made from the wood of the apricot tree, the zurna has long been a celebratory musical instrument. In fact the word zurna comes from the Persian words meaning banquet or feast, and pipe.