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There are many different types of Ethiopian music, but the most common is characterized by a pentatonic mode and exceptionally big note gaps.
Tezeta, bati, ambassel, and anchihoy are the basic modes of Ethiopian Highlands music, which is constructed on the qenet modal system. In addition to the aforementioned modes, Tezeta minor, Bati major, and Bati minor are three more. Song titles can be derived from a qenet, like in the case of the reminiscence song tizita. In traditional instruments, these modes are often not tempered (i.e., the pitches may differ greatly from the Western-tempered tuning system), but when played on Western instruments such as pianos and guitars they are tempered. All but a small percentage of Ethiopian highland music is either monosonic or heterophonic in nature. There are several places in the South where you can hear polyphonic music. Dorze polyphonic singing (edho), on the other hand, can have as many as five parts. Ethiopia has a long history of folk music. Although popular music is played, recorded, and listened to by the majority of people, most performers also sing classic pieces, which they prefer. Arba Lijoch, a brass band formed by 40 Armenian orphans who were brought from Jerusalem to Ethiopia during Haile Selassie’s reign, became a popular Ethiopian musical institution. On September 6, 1924, this band became Ethiopia’s first official orchestra when it landed in Addis Ababa. Final months of World War II saw large orchestras accompany concerts; the Army Band, Police Band, and Imperial Bodyguard Band were some of the most well-known.

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