Artist Abonesh Adenew met her friend after 30 years. Tune into the Interview with Ethiopian artist host comedian Dereje Haile.
Ethiopian music began as a form of religious expression during the 4th century AD with the advent of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. Yared, the father of Ethiopian Church music, created the church’s unique musical style, and his vivid three-mode sounds are still practiced today. The northeastern part of Ethiopia is home to the city of Wollo, where the Muslim musical form Manzuma developed and later spread throughout the country. Traditionally, in the Ethiopian Highlands, “Azmaris” or minstrels are the main musicians and are treated with respect.
Furthermore, Ethiopian music employs a unique modal system called Quine which is pentatonic with long intervals between most notes. The four main modes of “Qenet” are Tezeta, Bati, Ambassel, and Anchihoy, with three additional modes that are variations of the main-four modes: Tezeta minor, Bati major, and Bati minor. Ethiopian music is generally heterophonic or monophonic, while certain areas in the southern part of the country use a polyphonic style (Dorze polyphonic).
More recently, Ethiopian music has come a long way from its original traditions of being primarily connected with religion. The Brass bands are a popular musical tradition in Ethiopia, which began with the arrival of 40 Armenian orphans (Arba Lijoch) from Jerusalem during the reign of Emperor Haile Selassie.