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Showing posts with label mezmur. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mezmur. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Ehul Saged - Mezmur & Bägäna [ethiopia]




   R  E  U  P  L  O  A  D   











           Mezmur are the religious songs of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. Mezmur is the Amharic term for music, although it often has a religious connotation. Other religious groups also use the term, which is in contrast with zafan, or secular music.

             The Ethiopian Orthodox Church is one of the oldest Christian churches in Africa, and it dates to pre-colonial times. As of 2015, it has between 40 and 45 million members. It has also spread outside Ethiopia, with many branches in the United States and other countries where Ethiopian immigrants have settled.









                                                                                        Mirtnesh
Tewahedo orthodox mezmur





        It has a rich musical tradition, referred to as mezmur. Mezmur plays an important part in church services, including a detailed liturgy divided into two parts and 14 sub-parts known as anaphoras. These fixed songs undergo few changes.

           Mezmur can also refer to hymns, which are more innovative, and the church continues to accept and use new hymns. These are more free-form songs of praise. Many Ethiopians take great pride in their music and strive to create beautiful songs as a sign of devotion.


      Mezmur is not purely Ethiopian Orthodox. It can refer to any religious song. The P'ent'ay, or Ethiopian protestants, also use the term mezmur. The P'ent'ay can include Pentecostals, Baptists, Mennonites and many others.


   





                 O Goyta Selam

Eritrean Orthodox Tewahdo Mezmur 





      The begena is an Ethiopian or Eritrean string instrument with ten strings belonging to the family of the lyre. According to oral tradition, Menelik I brought the instrument to the region from Israel, where David played on it to soothe King Saul's nerves and heal him of insomnia. Its actual origin remains in doubt, though local manuscripts depict the instrument at the beginning of the 15th century (Kimberlin 1978: 13).


     

   Known as the instrument of noblemen, monks and the upper class and performed by both men and women, the begena was used primarily as an accompaniment during meditation and prayer. Though commonly played in the home, it is sometimes played in the framework of festive occasions. During Lent, the instrument is often heard on the radio and around churches. Begena is accompanied by singing voice only. The singer may compose his or her own texts or they may be taken from the Bible, from the Book of Proverbs, or from the Book of Qine, an anthology of proverbs and love poems. Subject matter includes the futility of life, the inevitability of death, saints, mores, morality, prayer, and praises to God. The song's duration varies according to the text, the audience, and the persistence of the player. Though many texts are of a religious nature, the instrument is not used in the Ethiopian Orthodox church services, even if it is seen occasionally in religious processions outside the church.


      Because of the instrument's relatively intimate and sacred role in society, the begena is not common to find. Meditation and prayer are very private, personal endeavors, and hearsay suggests that the instrument is played by very few and is a dying art. However, in 1972, the Yared Music School in Addis Ababa began formal instruction in the begena. Since 2004, evening courses are organized and the begena is still played.








     The begena has ten strings. However, different musicians use varying numbers of strings to play the begena. For example, begena teacher Memhr Sisay Demissae uses all ten strings to play the begena, while other players may use five or six of the strings. The left hand is used to pluck the strings.

         When all ten strings are plucked, one method of tuning the begena is to tune each pair of strings to one of the pitches in a pentatonic scale. When using five of the stings, only the first, fourth, sixth, eighth and tenth strings are tuned and plucked to give sound. Finally, while playing the begena using six strings, the left hand plucks strings one, three, four, six, eight, and ten (starting from the left side when facing the instrument). The pointing finger plucks strings three and four while the other fingers are in charge of controlling one string each. The remaining strings are used for the finger rests or stops after the strings have been plucked, allowing the plucked string to vibrate.

         The begena may also be played using a system called girf, wherein a plectrum made of horn or wood is used to pluck the ten strings of the begena. Megabe Sebhat Alemu Aga plays begena both by using his fingertips and girf.

       The begena is characterized by a very specific buzzing sound, due to U-shaped leather pieces placed between each string and the bridge. The thong for each string is adjusted up or down along the bridge so that the string, when plucked, repeatedly vibrates against the edge of the bridge.






01. Ehul Saged - Mezmur & Bägäna - Track 01 (5:55)
02. Ehul Saged - Mezmur & Bägäna - Track 02 (6:29)
03. Ehul Saged - Mezmur & Bägäna - Track 03 (4:48)
04. Ehul Saged - Mezmur & Bägäna - Track 04 (7:00)
05. Ehul Saged - Mezmur & Bägäna - Track 05 (6:03)
06. Ehul Saged - Mezmur & Bägäna - Track 06 (6:06)
07. Ehul Saged - Mezmur & Bägäna - Track 07 (5:54)
08. Ehul Saged - Mezmur & Bägäna - Track 08 (6:30)
09. Ehul Saged - Mezmur & Bägäna - Track 09 (5:20)
10. Ehul Saged - Mezmur & Bägäna - Track 10 (7:01)




     for more mezmur songs visit        this site      







Friday, January 23, 2015

v.a. - Music of Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church [2007]





New Ethiopian orthodox mezmur



       Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, autocephalous Oriental Orthodox church in Ethiopia. Headquarters are in Addis Ababa, the country’s capital.





       Ethiopia was Christianized in the 4th century ce by two brothers from Tyre—St. Frumentius, later consecrated the first Ethiopian bishop, and Aedesius. They won the confidence of King Ezana at Aksum (a powerful kingdom in northern Ethiopia) and were allowed to evangelize. Toward the end of the 5th century, nine monks from Syria are said to have brought monasticism to Ethiopia and encouraged the translation of the Scriptures into the Geʿez language.

       The Ethiopian church followed the Coptic (Egyptian) church (now called the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria) in rejecting the Christological decision issued by the Council of Chalcedon in 451 ce that the human and divine natures of Jesus Christ were equally present in one person without commingling. Opposed to this dyophysitism, or two-nature doctrine, the Coptic and Ethiopian churches held that the human and divine natures were equally present through the mystery of the Incarnation within a single nature. This position—called miaphysitism, or single-nature doctrine—was interpreted by the Roman and Greek churches as a heresy called monophysitism, the belief that Christ had only one nature, which was divine. The Ethiopian church included into its name the word tewahedo, a Geʿez word meaning unity and expressing the churchs miaphysite belief. Like other so-called non-Chalcedonian (also referred to as Oriental Orthodox) churches, it was cut off from dialogue with the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches until the mid-20th century, when many of the Christological disputes that arose from Chalcedon were resolved through ecumenical dialogue.

              In the 7th century the conquests of the Muslim Arabs cut off the Ethiopian church from contact with most of its Christian neighbours. The church absorbed various syncretic beliefs in the following centuries, but contact with the outside Christian world was maintained through the Ethiopian monastery in Jerusalem.

       Beginning in the 12th century, the patriarch of Alexandria appointed the Ethiopian archbishop, known as the abuna (Arabic: “our father”), who was always an Egyptian Coptic monk; this created a rivalry with the native itshage (abbot general) of the strong Ethiopian monastic community. Attempts to shake Egyptian Coptic control were made from time to time, but it was not until 1929 that a compromise was effected: an Egyptian monk was again appointed abuna, but four Ethiopian bishops were also consecrated as his auxiliaries. A native Ethiopian abuna, Basil, was finally appointed in 1950, and in 1959 an autonomous Ethiopian patriarchate was established, although the church continued to recognize the honorary primacy of the Coptic patriarch. When neighbouring Eritrea gained independence from Ethiopia in 1993, it appealed to Pope Shenouda III, the patriarch of the Coptic church, for autocephaly. This was granted in 1994; the Ethiopian church assented in 1998 to the independence of the new Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church.

       The Amhara and Tigray peoples of the northern and central highlands have historically been the principal adherents of the Ethiopian Orthodox church, and the church’s religious forms and beliefs have been the dominant element in Amhara culture. Under the Amhara-dominated Ethiopian monarchy, the Ethiopian Orthodox church was declared to be the state church of the country, and it was a bulwark of the regime of Emperor Haile Selassie I. Upon the abolition of the monarchy and the institution of socialism in the country beginning in 1974, the church was disestablished. Its patriarch was executed, and the church was divested of its extensive landholdings. The church was placed on a footing of equality with Islam and other religions in the country, but it nevertheless remained Ethiopia’s most influential religious body.

        The clergy is composed of priests, who conduct the religious services and perform exorcisms; deacons, who assist in the services; and debtera, who, though not ordained, perform the music and dance associated with church services and also function as astrologers, fortune-tellers, and healers. Ethiopian Christianity blends Christian conceptions of saints and angels with pre-Christian beliefs in benevolent and malevolent spirits and imps. Considerable emphasis is placed on the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament). Further, the church recognizes a wider canon of scripture that includes such texts as the apocalyptic First Book of Enoch. Circumcision is almost universally practiced; the Saturday Sabbath (in addition to Sunday) is observed by some devout believers; the ark is an essential item in every church; and rigorous fasting is still practiced.

        The priesthood of the Ethiopian church, on the whole, is not learned, though there are theological seminaries in Addis Ababa and Harer. Monasticism is widespread, and individual monasteries often teach special subjects in theology or church music. Each community also has its own church school, which until 1900 was the sole source of Ethiopian education. The liturgy and scriptures are typically in Geʿez, though both have been translated into Amharic, the principal modern language of Ethiopia. In the early 21st century the church claimed more than 30 million adherents in Ethiopia.


Music

            According to tradition, the central body of hymns used in the Ethiopian liturgy was composed by the sixth-century musician Yared, who is venerated as one of the greatest saints of the Ethiopian Church. Hagiography records that Yared was inspired to compose his hymns after being led up to heaven and hearing the songs of angels. St. Yared is also credited with having invented a notational system, though scholars usually date the introduction of musical notation in Ethiopia to the sixteenth century.

            Ethiopian chant consists of melodies alone, unembellished by harmonies. These melodies follow one of three modes, known as Geez, Ezel, and Ararai; the modes correspond respectively to  “plain chant for ordinary days,” “a more measured beat for funerals,” and “a lighter, free mood for great festivals” (Giday). 

          A skilled chanter will improvise on set melodies within these modes. In processions and in special hymns sung after the liturgy proper, drums and sistrums (a kind of rattle) are used for rhythmic accompaniment. Ethiopian church music is also remarkable for its incorporation of sacred dance, ranging from a rhythmic swaying of the choir with hands upturned in prayer to more elaborate dances performed with two choirs holding staffs and sistrums. 



Thursday, January 15, 2015

v.a. - Ethio podcast - Begena [2006] [ethiopia]







Alemu Aga - "Besmeab - Abatachin Hoy"
playing the Begenna, the Harp of David from Ethiopia


       The begena (or bèguèna, as in French) is an Eritrean and Ethiopian string instrument with ten strings belonging to the family of the lyre. According to oral tradition, Menelik I brought the instrument to the region from Israel, where David played on it to soothe King Saul's nerves and heal him of insomnia. Its actual origin remains in doubt, though local manuscripts depict the instrument at the beginning of the 15th century (Kimberlin 1978: 13).






      Known as the instrument of noblemen, monks and the upper class and performed by both men and women, the begena was used primarily as an accompaniment during meditation and prayer. Though commonly played in the home, it is sometimes played in the framework of festive occasions. During Lent, the instrument is often heard on the radio and around churches. 

   Begena is accompanied by singing voice only. The singer may compose his or her own texts or they may be taken from the Bible, from the Book of Proverbs, or from the Book of Qine, an anthology of proverbs and love poems. Subject matter includes the futility of life, the inevitability of death, saints, mores, morality, prayer, and praises to God. The song's duration varies according to the text, the audience, and the persistence of the player. Though many texts are of a religious nature, the instrument is not used in the Ethiopian Orthodox church services, even if it is seen occasionally in religious processions outside the church.



     Because of the instrument's relatively intimate and sacred role in society, the begena is not very common to find. Meditation and prayer are very private, personal endeavors, and hearsay suggests that the instrument is played by very few and is a dying art. However, in 1972, the Yared Music School in Addis Ababa began formal instruction in the begena. Since 2004, evening courses are organized and the begena is still played.


    The begena has ten strings. However, different musicians use varying numbers of strings to play the begena. For example, begena teacher Memhr Sisay Demissae uses all ten strings to play the begena, while other players may use five or six of the strings. The left hand is used to pluck the strings.





 When all ten strings are plucked, one method of tuning the begena is to tune each pair of strings to one of the pitches in a pentatonic scale. When using five of the stings, only the first, fourth, sixth, eighth and tenth strings are tuned and plucked to give sound. Finally, while playing the begena using six strings, the left hand plucks strings one, three, four, six, eight, and ten (starting from the left side when facing the instrument). The pointing finger plucks strings three and four while the other fingers are in charge of controlling one string each. The remaining strings are used for the finger rests or stops after the strings have been plucked, allowing the plucked string to vibrate.




          The begena may also be played using a system called girf, wherein a plectrum made of horn or wood is used to pluck the ten strings of the begena. Megabe Sebhat Alemu Aga plays begena both by using his fingertips and girf.


       
      





The begena is characterized by a very specific buzzing sound, due to U-shaped leather pieces placed between each string and the bridge. The thong for each string is adjusted up or down along the bridge so that the string, when plucked, repeatedly vibrates against the edge of the bridge.










01 - unknown - Begena 9 (5:17)
02 - Zerfu Demisie - Tewoledelin (5:23)
03 - Merigeta Fikru Sahelu - Simih Yemesgen (7:34)
04 - Akalu - Bene Tsidk Aydelem (7:11)
05 - Yilma Hailu - Silasie Kesemay (4:14)
06 - Tadiwos Girma - Temesgen (6:05)
07 - Yilam Hailu - Eninesalen (3:55)
08 - Mirtnesh Tilahun - Rehoboth (5:11)
09 - Engidawork Bekele - Alefkugne Dingil (6:00)
10 - Fekadu Amare - Egziabher Hayal New (5:20)


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Sofia Shibabaw - Fikir Kemekbir Belayi [1996]



   R   E   U   P   L   O   A   D   


       Sofia Shibabaw is Amharic gospel singer (mezmur) from Ethiopia with an extraordinary singing voice. She is one of the best recent Christian artist. So far she have two fantastic albums and also have many records with various Christian artists in different albums.



01. Sofia Shibabaw - Oh Enie Man Negne (6:50)
02. Sofia Shibabaw - Leka Alie Dagna (5:24)
03. Sofia Shibabaw - Keberigne (6:04)
04. Sofia Shibabaw - Alemayehu (5:41)
05. Sofia Shibabaw - Ethiopia (5:51)
06. Sofia Shibabaw - Fikir Kemekbir Belayi (5:03)
07. Sofia Shibabaw - Fikir Chemere (4:46)
08. Sofia Shibabaw - Endantie Yele (7:00)
09. Sofia Shibabaw - Yelewetgne (7:09)
10. Sofia Shibabaw - Edil Fenitaye (6:25)
11. Sofia Shibabaw - Lehiyiwetihe Waga Site (6:01)