The music of the Southern Caucasus has its roots in two thousand years of cultural, ethnic and religious struggle, its mere survival a testament to the persistence and communal strength of Georgian, Azeri and Armenian people. While contemporary musicians from the Caucasus readily embrace global genres, especially those who live in emigrant communities in America and Europe, artists who perform the region’s traditional music know that when they’re passing their ancient music to a new generation, they’re doing much more than just singing songs. For example, Armenia has a long, rich history during which its music has had the the chance to establish deep, resonant roots. Today’s Armenian music is a mix of ancient Church liturgy, super-ancient pre-Christian chants, relatively new indigenous folk (only centuries old) and raucously ultra-modern Euro-pop that draws substantially on what came before. Substantial populations of Armenians live and create music not only in their homeland but in many communities abroad. Let’s start the week this video of a musician of Armenian descent, born and raised in the diaspora — Armenian-American oud player Richard Hagoipan.