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Music of Northern Ethiopia
Ethiopia has a district history and infinitely varied culture dating back to ancient time. The Axumite kingdom in the north, extended to Arabia and was a great power along with Persia, China and Rome. Coins were issued, trading reached India and China, great edifices and dams were erected and scientific and philosophical works were translated into Ge'ez, one of the earliest written languages.
Religious painting of St George and the Dragon

- St George and the Dragon -
Christianity became the state religion in 330 AD and the Orthodox Church represents the oldest unbroken Christian church tradition in the world.Even older are the religious traditions of the Ethiopian Jews, Bait Israel or Felasha, which go back to King Solomon and the First Temple.
The very first Moslems, fleeing persecution in Mecca, sought and were granted refuge in Ethiopia.
Cultural Troup photo

- Cultural Troup -
The music springs from this heritage and some of the instruments have been traced back 3000 years or more, appearing in the paintings and descriptions on the walls of Egyptian tombs and temples.
In recent times there has been dramtic change. At the time these recordings were being made Ethiopia was moving from military dictatorship to fledgling democracy. These events, like those of the past, influenced the musical and cultural traditions of the whole country. MNCD201

Recorded by Lesley Larkum during her seven month stay in the country.

The selections reflect the ethnic diversity to be found in Northern Ethiopia and covers a wide cross section of music making between February and June 1991, in the province of Tigray.

Included are Tigrinya songs, the language of the majority in Tigray, songs of the Kunama and Agew nationalities, Ge'ez the ancient language of Ethiopia used by the Ethiopian Orthodox church, Arabic used by Moslems during prayer and a song in Amharic. There are songs reflecting events of the time like "Goonah", "Asserte Hade Leyekateet" and "Teba'at Bitsot" which talk of the struggles and courage of the people fighting the Derg regime. Then there are traditional songs such as "Ane Keharas", "Kilitte Shigurti" and "Agarame". Much of the daily life of the people continued seemingly unaffected by the war, as reflected by the music of the Christian Church and the Moslem ceremony.
Music of Northern Ethiopia
click the logo's listen to RealAudio demo listen to NetShow demo to listen to the tracks
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listen to RealAudio demo track 1 listen to NetShow demo "Goonah" 5'45" £ Buying Info
How to buy?

Our CD quality downloadable tracks are not available at the present time

We hope to be back online next year.

Our CD's are available mail order please email for details.

We can also make you a custom CD
listen to RealAudio demo track 2 listen to NetShow demo Marriage Ceremony 3'39" £
listen to RealAudio demo track 3 listen to NetShow demo "Ane Keharas" 3'08" £
listen to RealAudio demo track 4 listen to NetShow demo "Asserte Hade Leyekateet" 4'16" £
listen to RealAudio demo track 5 listen to NetShow demo "Aidi Bangala" 3'07" £
listen to RealAudio demo track 6 listen to NetShow demo Agarame 3'45" £
listen to RealAudio demo track 7 listen to NetShow demo "Tigray Ke'anbeba lyye" 3'45" £
listen to RealAudio demo track 8 listen to NetShow demo Megalo 5'59" £
listen to RealAudio demo track 9 listen to NetShow demo "Zeinedybo Gobo" 2'26" £
listen to RealAudio demo track10 listen to NetShow demo Teba'at Bitsot 2'28" £
listen to RealAudio demo track11 listen to NetShow demo Children Singing 8'00" £
listen to RealAudio demo track12 listen to NetShow demo Agew Song 2'54" £
listen to RealAudio demo track13 listen to NetShow demo "Kilitte Shigurti" 4'41" £
listen to RealAudio demo track14 listen to NetShow demo "Behaylei lyyu" 4'46" £
listen to RealAudio demo track15 listen to NetShow demo Moslem Prayer Ceremony 6'22" £
listen to RealAudio demo track16 listen to NetShow demo Easter Festival (Timket)
Ethiopian Orthodox Church
7'37" £
listen to RealAudio demo track17 listen to NetShow demo Agew Pipes 1'17" £
cassette Music of Northern Ethiopia (Tigray) via mail order + P&P
UK £1.50 Europe £2.50, other £3.00
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Page maintained by Brigid Scott Baker, Copyright(c) 1998 musicnow. Created: 04/06/98 Updated: 19/09/2000