Music of Ethiopia

The music of Ethiopia is extremely diverse, with each of Ethiopia's ethnic groups being associated with unique sounds.

Music theory

Ethiopian music uses a distinct modal system that is pentatonic, with characteristically long intervals between some notes.

The music of the highlands uses a fundamental modal system called qenet, of which there are four main modes: tezeta, bati, ambassel, and anchihoy. [1] Three additional modes are variations on the above: tezeta minor, bati major, and bati minor. [2] [3] [4] Some songs take the name of their qenet, such as tizita, a song of reminiscence. [1] When played on traditional instruments, these modes are generally not tempered (that is, the pitches may deviate slightly from the Western-tempered tuning system), but when played on Western instruments such as pianos and guitars, they are played using the Western-tempered tuning system.

Music in the Ethiopian highlands is generally monophonic or heterophonic. [1] In certain southern areas, some music is polyphonic. Dorze polyphonic singing (edho) may employ up to five parts; Majangir, four parts. [1]