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Tizita/Tezeta/tazata( Amharic : ትዝታ; English: memory, "nostalgia" or "longing") [1] is one of the Pentatonic scales or Qañat of the Amhara ethnic group. [2]


Etymology and origin

The term tizita is distinctly Amharic, there's no Geez equivalent, contrarily to the term nafkot which belong to both languages with the same meaning (regret, emotion linked to a remembrance). [3] Tizita folk songs developed in the countryside by the Amhara peasantry and the village musicians called the Azmaris. [4]

Tizita music genre

Tizita songs are a popular music genre in Ethiopia and Eritrea. It's named after the Tizita Qañat mode/scale used in such songs. [1] Tizita is known for strongly moving listener's feelings not only among the Amhara, but a large number of Ethiopians, in general. [5]

Western sources often compare tizita to the blues. [6] [7] Other musical equivalent are the Portuguese Saudade , Assouf for the Tuareg people, or Dor in Romania. In Slovakia, the closest word is clivota or cnenie, Sehnsucht in German, and "կարոտ" [8] (phonetically karōt) in Armenian. [8]

Modern Ethiopian artists who have performed tizita songs include Aster Aweke, Hailu Mergia, Bezawork Asfaw, Teddy Afro, Mulatu Astatke, Meklit Hadero, Seyfu Yohannes and Mahmoud Ahmed.


Ethiopian Jazz or Ethio-Jazz genre was developed in the 1960's by infusing Tizita Qañat with elements of Ethiopian Orthodox Christian music, and the use of Western instruments. The pioneer of this genre is Mulatu Astatke. [9]

See also

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  1. 1 2 Eyre, Banning (2006-09-15). "Kay Kaufman Shelemay - Ethiopia: Empire and Revolution (interview)". Afropop Worldwide . World Music Productions. Archived from the original on 2007-02-14. Retrieved 2010-02-05.
  2. Weisser, Stéphanie; Falceto, Francis (2013). "Investigating qәñәt in Amhara secular music: An acoustic and historical study". Annales d'Ethiopie. 28: 299–322. doi:10.3406/ethio.2013.1539.
  3. Weisser, Stéphanie; Falceto, Francis (2013). "Investigating qәñәt in Amhara secular music: An acoustic and historical study". Annales d'Ethiopie. 28: 299–322. doi:10.3406/ethio.2013.1539.
  4. Teffera, Timkehet (2013). "Canvassing Past Memories through "Tәzәta"". Journal of Ethiopian Studies. 46: 31–40. JSTOR   44326314.
  5. Teffera, Timkehet (2013). "Canvassing Past Memories through "Tәzәta"". Journal of Ethiopian Studies. 46: 31–40. JSTOR   44326314.
  6. Eyre, Banning. "Éthiopiques 10: Tezeta: Ethiopian Blues and Ballad". Afropop Worldwide . World Music Productions. Retrieved 2010-02-05.
  7. For example, the tenth release in the Ethiopiques series is titled Tezeta: Ethiopian Blues and Ballads.
  8. 1 2 "կարոտ". Wiktionary the Free Dictionary.
  9. "How Ethiopian jazz got its unique sound". 18 July 2018.