Ethiopian music is a name that can refer to any music of Ethiopian origin, although it is most commonly used to refer to a genre, a pentatonic modal system with notably lengthy intervals between some notes.
The Ethiopian Highlands’ music has a basic modal system known as qenet, which has four main modes: tezeta, bati, ambassel, and anchihoy. Tezeta minor, bati major, and bati minor are three further modes that are variants on the above. Some songs, such as tizita, a memory song, are named after their qenet.
The Ethiopian highlands’ music is predominantly monophonic or heterophonic. Polyphonic music can be found in some southern places. Dorze polyphonic singing (edho) can have up to five parts, but Majangir only has four. 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 big ten-string lyre are all traditional string instruments in the Highlands. Musical bows (including an uncommon three-string variety) and the dita (a five-string lyre) are among the chordophones found in the south.