Ethiopian Music

Ethiopian music has many influences from the folk music of Somalia, to the liturgical music of the early Christian church and Muslim music in the north east of the country called 'manzuma' and sung in Amharic.

Whilst Ethiopia is rich in its own musical traditions it has more recently absorbed some 'less likely' forms such as brass band music following the arrival of forty Armenian orphans from Jerusalem in the form during the reign of Haile Selassie.

Such was the impact of this 'new' music it was a brass band that formed the first national orchestra of Ethiopia, and organisations such as the police, army

and even the Imperial Bodyguard soon set up their own brass influenced orchestras.

Traditional instruments used in Ethiopian music include a one stringed violin like instrument that is played with a bow known as the masinqo; a 6 figured krar played either with the fingers or less often with a plectrum; a flute made from bamboo called the washint and various drums from the stick played negarit; the hand beaten kebero and the atamo which is played by tapping with the fingers or palm of the hand.

Other popular instruments in Ethiopian music include a large harp (begena), a trumpet known as the tsinatsil and a ceremonial flute called the embilta.

The above is a music video featuring current Ethiopian music based on traditional values.

Ethiopian Dance

It is estimated that there are some one hundred and fifty unique dancing movements across Ethiopia and this is reflected in the diverse range of Ethiopian music which varies from folk music from the Horn of Africa to ancient Christian based music and the Muslim musical form of 'Manzuma' amongst others.


Ethiopian Music

Ethiopian Music

Ethiopian Music

Ethiopian Music


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Ethiopian Music

The video above shows children performing traditional Ethiopian dancing.

Keep your eye out for the little lad in white shorts and a top reflecting his country's colours.

He becomes totally absorbed by the dance and music and symbolises the sheer energy and joy of Ethiopian dancing where traditional dancing styles are based on movement of the upper body flowing out through the entire body creating a spiritual experience.


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