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Ethiopian music refers to any music from Ethiopia, but it is most commonly associated with a genre, a pentatonic modal system with extremely long intervals between notes.
The qenet modal system, which consists of four fundamental modes: tezeta, bati, ambassel, and anchihoy, underpins Ethiopian Highlands music. Three more variations on the previous modes are tezeta minor, bati major, and bati minor. Some songs, such as tizita, a memory song, are named after their qenet. These modes are frequently not tempered when played on traditional instruments (i.e., the pitches may diverge significantly from the Western-tempered tuning system), but they are tempered when played on Western instruments like as pianos and guitars. Ethiopian highland music is typically monophonic or heterophonic. Polyphonic music can be found in several southern locales. There are only four parts in Majangir, although Dorze polyphonic singing (edho) might have up to five. Ethiopia is a traditional musical country. Although popular music is played, recorded, and listened to, most musicians also sing traditional tunes, which most listeners like. Brass bands were moved from Jerusalem in the shape of forty Armenian orphans (Arba Lijoch) during Haile Selassie’s reign, and were a long-standing popular musical tradition in Ethiopia. This band became Ethiopia’s first official orchestra when it landed in Addis Ababa on September 6, 1924. Large orchestras accompanied concerts during the close of World War II; the Army Band, Police Band, and Imperial Bodyguard Band were the most well-known orchestras. Mahmoud Ahmed, Alemayehu Eshete, Hirut Bekele, Ali Birra, Ayalew Mesfin, Kiros Alemayehu, Muluken Melesse, and Tilahun Gessesse were among the most popular Ethiopian musicians from the 1950s to the 1970s, while popular folk musicians included Alemu Aga, Kassa Tessema, Ketema Makonnen, Asnaketch Worku, and Mary Armede Mulatu Astatke, a pioneer of Ethio-jazz, was possibly the most influential artist of his generation. The biggest Ethiopian record labels of the time were Amha Records, Kaifa Records, and Philips-Ethiopia. Many of these songs and albums have been reissued on compact disc by Buda Musique’s Éthiopiques series since 1997.

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