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.
 Three additional modes are variations on the above: tezeta minor, bati major, and bati minor.
 Some songs take the name of their qenet, such as
tizita, a song of reminiscence.
 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
 In certain southern areas, some music is
Dorze polyphonic singing (edho) may employ up to five parts;
Majangir, four parts.