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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. These modes are often not tempered when played on traditional instruments (that is, the pitches may depart significantly from the Western-tempered tuning system), but they are tempered when played on Western instruments such as pianos and guitars. 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. In the south, chordophones include the dita (a five-string lyre) and musical bows (including an odd three-string variation). The washint is a bamboo flute popular in the highlands. The ceremonial malakat, which is used in some locations, and the holdudwa (animal horn; compare shofar), which is mostly found in the south, are both trumpet-like instruments. There are no finger holes on Embilta flutes, and they only generate two tones: the fundamental and a fourth or fifth interval. These can be metal (which is more common in the north) or bamboo (which is more common in the south) (in the south). Fanta, or pan flutes, are played by the Konso and others in the south. It has six holes in it.

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