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"The migration of the well-versed and faithful followers of Christ from countries of the Middle East into Ethiopia occured at that critical period when doctrinal schism was prevalent within the Ecumenical Church. Because these pious men were divinely called to make their refugee in Ethiopia with their theological knowledge of the primative and pure apostlic teachings, their advent into Ethiopia was a blessing for Ethiopians and a milestone in the Consolidation of Ethiopianism." -- Ermias Kebede Wolde-Yesus, Nibure Id, "Ethiopia: The Classic Case: A Biblical Nation under God"

Ethiopian & Rastafari
by Aster Sellassie, Millennium Ed.
Ethio-Music CD



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... Originally this site was only a mirror of Sellassie Family Web @ www.angelfire.com/ak/sellassie, but with time each webpage gets it own life and forms. There are many new pages here and the entire direction is different -- it's not just our family place anymore. One year of cyber existance proved that Sellassie Family is big and indeed is world wide.

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Music (short) LIST (amazon.com) : Ethiopiques, Vol. 1: Golden Years Of Modern Ethiopian Music * Ethiopiques, Vol. 14: Negus of Ethiopian Sax * Ethiopiques, Vol. 13: Ethiopian Groove * Ethiopiques, Vol. 3: Golden Years Of Modern Ethiopian Music * Ethiopian Urban and Tribal Music, vol. 1: Mindanoo Mistiru * Gold from Wax: Ethiopian Urban & Tribal Music * The Sounds of Contemporary Ethiopian Music - Millennium Collection * BIBLIO *
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2004: Origins * "Ethiopia" -- new music from Addis (Teowdros Abera, Tikher Teferra)! (winamp 4.46 min) download free * info
Ethiopia is still not well known and its musical patrimony is properly unbelievable. The ethnic diversity and the profusion of the instruments give a particularly original character to the Ethiopian music. According to legend, this music dates from Kings David and Solomon. In this record, there are four distinct forms to be noted: the popular music, the liturgical music, the polyphonies of the Dorze and those of the tribes of the South-West of Ethiopia. Simple songs have been invented from centuries, principally by women, yet today these songs express eternal sentiments of joy and love.

The Azmaris, who are trobadours or traveling minstrels, have been incontestable carries of the popular music and still are. These minstrels take up prominent part in the everyday life. In the train between Addis-Ababa and Djibouti, on occasion of wedding or public meetings, also tedj-bet (local bar), here they most of the time, carrying their massenqo to bring a colorful note. Although they call themselves laudators, they enjoy from ages free-speech and use it wittily.

In the Christian Orthodox the liturgical music takes an important place. Ethiopia of today is rich of more than 75,000 priests, 12,000 churches and about 8,000 monasteries in full swing, so, it is one of the countries where the faith is the most fervent. The liturgical music is very complex in its composition and therefore only attainable by the veritable initiates. Large parts of Ethiopian's traditional music are based on a number of scale systems or modes. Church music has three of these, and legend has it that they were revealed to St. Yared during a vision in the 6th century.

These three modes, however, differ in more respects than the pitches. Each of them is associated with various "skeleton melodies", and they are performed using different vocal techniques. Furthermore, they are associated with different festivals and different seasons of the year.

Although a system of notation does exist, also attributed to St. Yared, music at several different schools is passed on mainly by aural tradition. The notation system, which is presumably of much later date, possibly from 16th century, provides only very sketchy information on how the music is to be performed.

Consequently, a variety of traditions and interpretations have evolved at different schools, with rather complicated results today from viewpoint of music theory. (see notes on Yared Music School during our visit to Addis Aba in 1995).

The origin of urban popular music in Ethiopia can be traced back to the 1920's when Emperor Haile Selassie brought over a group of Armenian orphans from Jerusalem and so formed The Bodyguard Orchestra. They brought new instruments with them, like trumpet and saxophone, and from this and other military bands a night-club scene began to emerge. In 1935, Ethiopia was invaded and though this lasted only a few years some Italians stayed and formed dance bands.

Regardless of the effect outside influences, such as American rock, have had on musicians, Ethiopian popular music is still very strongly based on both scared and secular traditions from different parts of the country. Perhaps more relevant than the question of how western music affected Ethiopia, is how Ethiopian music might one day influence western popular music...

[ Text from several sources including Ethio Stars & Tukul Band CD by piranha musik, Ethiopie CD by Playa Sound, and Anu Laakkonen & Sten Sandahl form Caprice Record ]

...

[ * This is the original 1998 front page (tempalte) for Sellassie WWW. If you want to stay updated, get on Sellassie List ]

+ Ethiopian music is strongly influenced by Muslim forms as well as folk musics. Traditional music is largely played by itinerent musicians called azmari, who are regarded with both suspicion and respect by Ethiopian society. Ethiopian popular musicians included Bezunesh Bekele, Mahmoud Ahmed, Alemayehu Eshete, Hirut Bekele, Ali Birra, Ayalew Mesfin, Muluken Mellesse and Tlahoun Gessesse, while popular folk musicians included Alemu Aga, Kassa Tessema, Ketema Makonnen, Asnaketch Worku and Mary Armede. Perhaps the most influential musician of the period, however, was Ethio-jazz innovator Mulatu Astatke. [ References Falceto, Francis. "Land of Wax and Gold". 2000. In Broughton, Simon and Ellingham, Mark with McConnachie, James and Duane, Orla (Ed.), World Music, Vol. 1: Africa, Europe and the Middle East, pp 480-487. Rough Guides Ltd, Penguin Books. ISBN 1-85828-636-0 ]

LIST (amazon.com) : Ethiopiques, Vol. 1: Golden Years Of Modern Ethiopian Music * Ethiopiques, Vol. 14: Negus of Ethiopian Sax * Ethiopiques, Vol. 13: Ethiopian Groove * Ethiopiques, Vol. 3: Golden Years Of Modern Ethiopian Music * Ethiopian Urban and Tribal Music, vol. 1: Mindanoo Mistiru * Gold from Wax: Ethiopian Urban & Tribal Music * The Sounds of Contemporary Ethiopian Music - Millennium Collection *
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