Christian Ethiopians living in the central north: the Tigre, Amhara, Gojjam, Begemdir and Simen, and the Shewa; the rest of the country, the plateau to the south, is occupied by the Galla tribes. The western frontiers of the country are populated by the Shanqella, the east is dominated by Moslem peoples (the Danakil, Issa and Somali), and the south by various populations regrouped under the term Gurage. The musical traditions of Ethiopia reflect this diversity: Christian religious music, sung and danced by priests accompanied by drums and sistrums; the Jewish religious music of the Beta Israel ; the secular music of the Amhara and Tigre Christians; the religious and secular music of the Galla Moslems; and the innumerable vocal and instrumental forms of the southern populations. These traditions are not isolated, and they have tended to mutually influence each other. Parallel to the classical poetry which sung at court or in the halls of the lords, a more colorful tradition developed, namely that of the azmari minstrels. This poetry in a more simple style is sung in Amharic or in Tigre. The verses, often improvised or suggested by others, in which may be found abundance of metaphors and double meaning, but also irony and sarcasm, are most often accompanied on the masinqo bowed lute. The voice, used in service to the texts, is displayed over a relatively wide range. Ornamentation and vibrato, voice timbre which becomes brassy in dramatic moments, the use of pentatonic scales: all these techniques clearly illustrate the relationship of this music to the Nilotic world. In addition, a strong and very ancient influence of Arabic culture is detectable, especially obvious in the occurrence of non-tempered intervals.
Belaynesh Wubante & Assegedetch Asfaw: Ereye Demamu/Belayiye / Sabiye Philips PH 213 A Belaynesh Wubante & Assegedetch Asfaw: Ereye Demamu/Belayiye – Amharic Arranged by Mulatu Astatke Philips PH 213 B Belaynesh Wubante & Assegedetch Asfaw: Sabiye – Amharic Written by Belaynesh / Assegedetch Arranged by Mulatu Astatke Year: 1974 Record pressed in Nairobi, Kenya by East African Records Ltd.