Here we go to the land of promise, 13 months of sunshine, home to Walia Ibex and an uncolonized African country situated in the horn of the continent, Ethiopia! Today we want to take you on a journey to this country’s musical root cultures. With over 80 ethnic groups, Ethiopia boasts a diverse musical heritage from all over the country.
Image source: Oshun Partnership
Ethiopian music has its own unique styles and flow as much as the African countries such as Mali from Western Africa has a blues-like theme. According to many renowned scholars on this subject such as Sylvia Pankhurst’s (1955) volume Ethiopia: A Cultural History and Donald Levine’s (1965) Wax and Gold: Tradition and Innovation in Ethiopian Culture; both enforce that Ethiopian music has played a significant role in Africa’s music history. Much of the musical style falls under the four categories, namely Ambassel, Anchihoye, Tizita , and Bati. These musical styles are called Qignit (Amharic loose translation for style or mode). Surprisingly enough, these four genres got their roots from the northern part of Ethiopia but they are the cornerstone, even for the so-called modern Ethiopian music.
Native Musical Instruments that will touch your soul
According to an article published by the Independent entitled “The golden age of Ethiopian music”, Francis Falceto who is a well-known contemporary French music promoter and producer stated that when he first came to Ethiopia, the people generally could not imagine their music could attract foreigners. However, with the power of their musical instruments, slowly but surely the Western and other parts of the world became aware of how exhilarating the music is to one’s ear.
Let’s take a look at some of the well-known instruments