Selamawit Yohannes and Fikremariam Gebru – Nafkot (Ethiopian music video)

The music of Ethiopia is extremely diverse, with each of Ethiopia’s ethnic groups being associated with unique sounds. Ethiopian music uses a distinct modal system that is pentatonic, with characteristically long intervals between some notes.

The music of the highlands uses a fundamental modal system called Qenet, of which there are four main modes: Tezeta, bati, Ambassel, and Anchihoy. Three additional modes are variations on the above: Tezeta minor, Bati major, and Bati minor. Some songs take the name of their Qenet, such as Tizita, a song of reminiscence. When played on traditional instruments, these modes are generally not tempered (that is, the pitches may deviate slightly from the Western-tempered tuning system), but when played on Western instruments such as pianos and guitars, they are played using the Western-tempered tuning system.