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An interview with musician Genet masiresha

Ethiopian music is a term that can refer to any music from Ethiopia, although it is most generally used to refer to a genre, a pentatonic modal system with unusually long intervals between notes. The music of the Ethiopian Highlands is based on the qenet modal system, which comprises four primary modes: tezeta, bati, ambassel, and anchihoy. Tezeta minor, bati major, and bati minor are three further variants on the previous modes. Some songs are titled after their qenet, such as tizita, a reminiscence song. When played on traditional instruments, these modes are frequently not tempered (i.e., the pitches may deviate greatly from the Western-tempered tuning system), although they are tempered when played on Western instruments like pianos and guitars. The music of Ethiopia’s highlands is usually monophonic or heterophonic. Some southern locations have polyphonic music. Majangir comprises just four parts, whereas Dorze polyphonic singing (edho) can have up to five. The masenqo (also known as masinko), a one-string bowed lute; the krar (also known as kirar), a six-string lyre; and the begena, a huge ten-string lyre are all traditional string instruments in the Highlands. The dita (a five-string lyre) and musical bows are examples of chordophones in the south (including an odd three-string variation). In the Highlands, the washint is a bamboo flute. Both the ceremonial malakat and the holdudwa (animal horn; compare shofar), which are predominantly found in the south, are trumpet-like instruments. Embilta flutes have no finger holes and only produce two tones: the fundamental and a fourth or fifth interval. These can be metal (which is more frequent in the north) or bamboo (which is more popular in the south) (in the south) (in the south). The Konso and others in the south play fanta, or pan flutes. There are six holes in it.

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