Writing implement: Reed pen; later additions in pencil.
Ink: Brown ink on pp. 1–4, 6 (lower part of col. 2), 11–12, 15–16; blue ink on pp. 5, 6 (col. 1 and upper part of col. 2), 7–10, 13–14, 17–18; later additions in pencil.
Layout: Each page divided into two columns; approx. 45 lines per column; p. 20 is blank.
Pagination: Page numbers 1–8 and 10–18 given by a later hand in pencil; alternative page numbers on pp. 5–8 and p. 10 (also from a later hand) have been crossed or rubbed out; p. 9 and pp. 19–20 are unnumbered.
Gutter and spine are damaged; paper is yellowed, with dark brown patches mainly around edges; tear on gutter-side edge of p. 13/14 has been repaired with transparent tape; a small amount of text and notation is obscured by physical damage at page edges throughout the manuscript.
Scribes / Handwriting styles
Reed pen; brown and blue inks: 1st hand/main scribe (Hambarjum Limōnčean?); headings in cursive Armenian script (šłagir); early Hampartsum notation; some annotations. [NB: Technical ID for person should be linked to person name, not entire text field.] (Hampartsum Limonciyan)
Pencil: 2nd hand (Refik Fersan); headings by 1st hand are transcribed into Ottoman Turkish in Arabic script; may also have added lines separating columns. (Refîk Fersan)
Pencil: 3rd hand (Suphi Ezgi); headings by 1st or 2nd hands are transcribed into Latin script; pagination added; may also have added lines separating columns; annotations on pp. 18–19. (Subhî Ezgi)
Collection of instrumental music in early Hampartsum notation containing 41 peşrevs and 28
sâz semâîsis, probably compiled by Hambarjum Limōnčean (1768–1839) between 1812 and 1839.
Headings are in Armeno-Turkish, with later annotations by Refik Fersan and Suphi Ezgi.
The manuscript contains musical works composed by the scribe, indicated after some headings by the Armenian letters գեա (p. 4) or գ (p. 5), both of which are an abbreviation for գեադպին (p. 7), i.e. gead[i]pin > Tr. kātibiñ (‘the scribe’s’). The manuscript is in the same hand as
, which contains similar attributions to ‘the scribe’, also including the initial ‘h’ (
TA110 pp. 25, 53
). A later hand has added ‘Hambarjum’ in pencil to the heading in TA110, p. 53. Given the obviously early date of NE203 and TA110 (indicated by musical content and character of the notation), it seems reasonable to conclude that the ‘h’ stands for Hambarjum Limōnčean. The latter is the only Armenian musician of the early nineteenth century who both has a name beginning with ‘h’ and is known to have recorded a large number of peşrevs and saz semâîsis using Hampartsum notation (
Angełeay 1903 p. 79
; see also
Hisarlean 1914 pp. 7–20, 55–9
). The terminus post quem is based on the fact that the earliest examples of Hampartsum notation date from 1812, the year when Minas Bžškean’s Eražštut‘iwn was completed (see
MB-Ke p. 74
P. 18 (bottom of col. 1) contains the following annotation: ‘Bu notanĭn anahtarĭnĭ, konservatuvar için yazdĭrdĭgĭm Necib Paşa notalarĭ mecmuasĭnĭn baştarafĭna [inserted above] inşallah yazacagĭm 9/2/941 Dr Suphi Ezgi’ (‘God willing, I will write the key to this notation at the head of the collection of Necip Paşa’s notations that I had written for the conservatory. Dr Suphi Ezgi, 9/2/941’).
P. 18 (bottom of col. 2) contains the following annotation: ‘Bu defterde 64 parça peşrev ve semai yazĭlĭdĭr, Necib paşadan aldĭğĭmĭz defterlerdeki yazĭnĭn aynĭ hat oldugu ve bu defterinde Hamparsum tarafĭndan Koca Reşid paşaya verilmiş oldugunu onun Torunu B. Necmeddin Koca reşid tarafĭndan beyan edilmiş oldugundan, bu defterin Hamparsum tarafĭndan yazĭlmĭş oldugunu [sic] kabul ettik 9/12/941 Dr Suphi Ezgi’ (‘In this notebook are written 64 [sic] peşrevs and semâîs; because the handwriting is the same as the writing in the notebooks that we took from Necib Paşa, and it was confirmed by his grandson B. Necmeddin Koca Reşid that this notebook too was given by Hamparsum to Koca Reşid Paşa, we have accepted that this notebook was written by Hamparsum. Dr Suphi Ezgi, 9/12/941’).
P. 19 contains the following annotation: ‘Türk musikisinde, tarihte kĭsminde, ve Necib paşanĭn kütübhanesinden yazdĭgĭm ve bir kopyasĭnĭ konservatuvar kütüphane [sic] verdiğim peşrev ve semailerini baştarafında bu notanĭn anahtarĭ ve tafsĭlatĭ yazĭlĭdĭr 9/2/941 Dr Suphi Ezgi (‘The key and particulars of this notation are written in the historical section of Türk Musikisi, and at the head of the [collection] of peşrevs and semâîs that I wrote [i.e. copied] from Necib Paşa’s library, and of which I gave a copy to the library of the conservatory’).