Use the "back" button of your browser to return to the list of abstracts.
[PANEL] 0208 MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS AND PERFORMANCE OF PERIPHERAL SOCIETIES OF ETHIOPIA
ADMASU Abebe Haile, Mada Walabu University, Ethiopia
MITIKU Gabrehiwot Tesfaye, Mekelle University, Ethiopia
TEFERI Assefa; FASSIKA Hailu Dolla; HADDIS Alemayehu Gulma; ABINET Shiferaw; ADMASU Abebe;
DAWIT Getu; SOLOMON Gebreyohannis; SISAY Demisse; MELAKU Belay
The panel intends to disclose to scholarly dialogue, the highly overlooked theme in Ethiopian academic discourse: the promises and current challenges of indigenous music and artworks among the “peripheral societies”. The societies in periphery have been maintained well patterned traditions of making music instruments, consuming and valuing music in the day to day activities such as wedding ceremonies, funeral processions, and public holy days, at works and conflict resolutions and so on. In addition, these areas are endowed with diversified and unique type of music instruments (e.g. Zumbara in Ben-Shangul, Tom in Gambela, Chacha-zaye in Wolaita, Dinka in Dawuro etc…).
However, the music and art values of the societies in politically and geographically marginalized areas have not been well incorporated in the discussions of Ethiopian studies. The recent socio-economic and political changes at local and global levels are pushing the indigenous music and art practices to endangerment. Therefore, the aim of this panel is to bring together scholars with backgrounds from Anthropology, Ethno-musicology, folklore, cultural studies, theatrical and art; as well as practitioners (dancers, composers, painters) in order to foster interdisciplinary discussions and to explore indigenous music practices and artworks of peripheral societies of Ethiopia.
The following inquiries are anticipated to be treated in this panel. What are the roles of indigeous music and artworks in preserving and promoting the history, aesthetic values, culture and identity of their respective societies? What are the challenges to study indigenous music of peripheral societies? How the societies value and give meanings for music instruments? How does the society maintain the intellectual property right to protect their music works? What kinds of collaboration across interdisciplinary and engagement of professional practice is observed in areas of musical cultural resources conservation and policy-making? How do professionals and practitioners include or exclude these societies` music and artworks in theorizing Ethiopian music and art in general?
We invite researchers to submit papers that critically address these questions or any related issue dealing with interdisciplinary research innovations, new roles and engagements in the field of music and artwork studies of Ethiopia.
NB: The panel also looks forward to include indigenous music performance (by bringing indigenous music performers, dancers as well as professionals who engaged on promoting and composing indigenous music works) to accompany the event and to promote indigenous music of Ethiopia.
INDIGENOUS MUSIC, RHYTHM AND MELODY FUSION OF THE SOCIETY’S IN THE PERIPHERY: EXPLORING THE TRENDS OF “NEGARIT” FUSION BAND [Abstract ID: 0208-02]
In the field of Ethiopian music study, I observed the fact that indigenous music, melody, rhythms, musical instruments along with musicians who are able to play it have been immensely disappearing. For instance, Negarit is an Ethiopian indigenous drum set which is now only found in some museums and no longer made or played in any social or political scenarios. For the last three decades, I have been in the music scene as a drummer and researcher to realize such a drastic change in the field. As an intervention strategy I founded “Negarit” fusion band (to memorialize the “deceased instrument’) at Addis Ababa in 2014. Henceforth, I conducted field work in various peripheral areas and managed to collect different indigenous melody, rhythms and made a rigorous analysis to fuse them by using modern (sax, trumpet, bass guitar, drum) and traditional (washint- flute) music instruments cooperatively. For instance, the polyphonic singing of Gamo, the Lalibela vocal, the Derashe, the Konso and the Yemi peoples - the band mixes these societies' indigenous melodies/rhythms and performs its work on special cultural and social events, clubs and festivals. Moreover, it is also dedicated to promoting the rich musical treasure of the various nationalities of Ethiopia for domestic and foreign audiences (performers, tourists, musicians, diplomats, etc.). Besides its engagement to generate income from music, the band is working with the anticipations to bring awareness, appreciation and preservation of the unique musical heritage of Ethiopians. Therefore, the main objective of this paper is to explore the way to preserve and utilize indigenous melody/rhythms of societies in inaccessible areas of Ethiopia through incorporating traditional and modern music instrument and to share the experience, roles and the impression of a small music band- “negarit” for the rest of practitioners, researchers and academicians in sustaining/transforming the indigenous melody/rhythm which is on the verge of extinction for coming generations. Lastly, the author will be happy to bring his practical works in performing sessions with the Negarit Band to accompany the conference and to promote an “indigenous Ethiopian music essence with modern taste”.
NEW ADVANCEMENT OF ETHIOPIAN TRADITIONAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS (KRAR AND MASINQO) [Abstract ID: 0208-07]
IN ETHIOPIA, THERE ARE A LOT OF TRADITIONAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS. THE MOST POPULAR THAT NOW WE PLAY AND TEACH ARE the KRAR AND the MASINQO. The KRAR IS ONE OF THE STRING, MELODIC AND BEAT INSTRUMENTs. THERE ARE TWO TYPES OF KRARS. ONE IS MADE FROM GOAT SKIN AND a WOODEN PLATE WITH PLASTIC STRINGs. THE OTHER ONE IS MADE FROM WOOD WITH IRON STRINGs. EACH KRAR HAS a SOUND BOX WITH FIVE OR SIX STRINGS TRADITIONALLY BECAUSE ETHIOPIAN MUSIC IS PLAYED IN a PENTATONIC SCALE (5 SOUNDS). The MASINQO IS A ONE-STRINGED MELODIC ETHIOPIAN CULTURAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENT THAT HAS A DIAMOND-SIDED SOUND BOX MADE OF WOOD AND GOAT SKIN AND THE STRING FROM HORSETAIL. WE CREATED, DISCOVERED AND INVESTIGATED a 12-STRINGED KRAR WITH CHROMATIC SCALE AND a 3-STRINGED MASINQO TO PLAY DIFFERENT TYPES OF SCALES THAT HELPS TO PLAY WORLD MUSIC WITH OUR OWN TRADITIONAL INSTRUMENTS. OUR DREAM IS TO SHARE AND TO TEACH WHAT WE HAVE TO THE REST OF THE WORLD. THE OLD MASINQO AND KRAR HAve THEIR OWN QUALITIES and THEiR OWN COLOR. WE CAN PLAY ETHIOPIAN SCALES AND ETHIOPIAN MUSIC IN A VERY NICE WAY FULL OF ETHIOPIAN COLOUR,BUT IT WILL BE A LITTLE HARD TO PLAY AFRICAN AND WORLD MUSIC AND CHORDS WITH THOSE OLD INSTRUMENTS. WE NEED MORE THAN 5 AND 6 SOUNDS TO PLAY OTHER WORLD MUSIC BECAUSE OF THE NUMBER OF SOUNDS OF OTHER WORLD MUSIC. TO PLAY DIATONIC (7 SOUNDS) AND CHROMATIC (12 SOUNDS), WE NEED MORE STRINGS TO ADD ON THE INSTRUMENTS. AND ALSO IT WILL BE A LITTLE HARD TO MAKE UN OCTAVE SOUNDS (HIGHER PITCH SOUNDS) ON THE OLD INSTRUMENTS. WE BELIEVE AND OF COURSE WE CAN PLAY OUR CULTURAL MUSIC AND THEY ARE SO UNIQUE FOR THE REST OF THE WORLD. AND WE ARE TRyING TO SHOW THAT THOSE MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS CAN ALSO LET US PLAY AFRICAN AND WORLD MUSIC AND WE WANT TO SHOW TO OUR PEOPLE AND TO THE WORLD HOW MUCH THOSE INSTRUMENTS CAN PERFORM AND HAVE UNIQUE COLOUR AND CAN BE FUSED WITH ANY KINDS OF MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS THROUghOUT THE WORLD SO THAT ANYONE CAN USE THEM FOR INTeRNaTIONAL MUSIC RECORDINGS. THIS WILL HELP OUR PEOPLE AND OUR COUNTRY IN OPENING DOORWAYS TO PROMOTE OUR MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS, TRADITION, CULTURE, MUSIC AND DANCE FOR THE REST OF THE WORLD.
SHAATO'S FOLK LIFE, ROLES AND DYNAMICS AS FOLK MUSIC COMMUNITY IN KAFFA [Abstract ID: 0208-01]
This research is about Shaato's folk traditions, roles, and dynamics in Kaffa. It explored the roles of indigenous music and its practitioners in preserving and promoting the history, aesthetic values, culture and identity of the mainstream culture of Kaffa. The research used a qualitative approach such as in-depth interview, key informant interview and observation sources from practitioners and mainstream culture members of Kaffa. Shaato traced their history and folk identity along with Menelik I, the son of King Solomon of Israel. Their narration shows that they came from Israel by accompanying the arc of covenants as musical performers. They scattered within four clans from more than 240 Kaffa clans. Shaatos have been officially identified in the mainstream culture since the period of Kaffa Kingdom by their folk tradition in the king's palace and political structure. In the past, folk music was their major career and livelihood though they were involved in different economic activities. Deep knowledge about the fabrics of mainstream cultures is displayed in their living tradition. They are considered as a living heritage of Kaffa culture, history, and guardians of moral values and natural resources with their own folk peculiarity and diversity. But social enforcements and socio-cultural changes at villages together with modernity and globalization influences have made young shaato withdraw from their tradition. Audiences of their long tradition have also been influenced by modernity and contemporary music traditions, which are accessible in every corner of towns and villages. Today, the tradition remains with few elders just for fulfilling their ancestral promises and expectations with the collapse of diverse wisdom that preserve and promote total identity of the mainstream culture and the practitioners.
SYMBOLIC MEANINGS AND VALUES BEYOND MAKING LONGEST WIND MUSIC INSTRUMENT: INQUIRY ON DINKA- AN INDIGENOUS MUSIC INSTRUMENT OF DAWURO SOCIETY [Abstract ID: 0208-03]
This study was conducted on Dinka, the longest indigenous wind instruments of Dawuro society in Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples' Region. Its objectives were to examine symbolic meanings, creativity and production of Dinka music instruments and how it is linked with socio-cultural and environmental domains and to discuss the dynamics which caused to devolve its artistic values from both practitioners individuals and social organization. Data was collected through fieldwork observations, interviews, and document analysis. In the meantime, music instruments, its rhythms, folk songs, and dances were digitally (video and photos) and textually documented. The term Dinka also refers to a traditional music band (kocha dinka) composed of four different sizes (ranges from 2.50-5m) of wind instruments (locally named as Lamiya, Hesiya, Oyitiya and Mara) and a drum/Darbiya. Wind instruments are made from a bamboo stalk topped with antelope and cattle horns and the neck of each one is tied with skin nick tie called chala, which has symbolic meaning. It produces a well patterned, rhythmic music sound that is grouped in seven playing styles locally named as Tata, Konashiya, Karchiya, Yeda, Gadiliya, Aeqa and Lomatsuwa. Distinctively, some of these playing styles are labeled to accompany the funeral ceremony and considered as the main entertainer in the rituals in Dawuro society. The burial ceremony was accompanied by music, dance, and chant. So, it was thought that to “mourn without Dinka is like eating food without salt.” Therefore, this paper tries to address questions like why was the Dinka made to be longer? Are there any social-cultural constructed meanings embedded in the instrument for representation purpose? Why was it performed at funeral procession? How much time is spent to train the instrument? The author is optimistic to bring Dinka instrument players and dancers to accompany the conference event, in which its indigenous creative value will be presented to it's larger stakeholders (researchers, musicians, students) and to sustain the linkage between local community in “periphery” and higher research institutions (specifically with the Mekelle University - Department of Music and the Museum).
THE DYNAMICS OF INDIGENOUS MUSIC MAKING AND PERFORMANCE AMONG THE ETHNIC GROUPS IN SOUTH WEST ETHIOPIA: KAFFA, BENCH MAJI AND SHAKA ZONES [Abstract ID: 0208-05]
This paper discusses the music practice of the ethnic groups in Kaffa (Kafficho, Na’o and Chara), Bench-Maji (Bench, Surma, Dizi, Me’enet), and Shaka (Shakacho, Shako and Majang) Zones. It mainly focuses on the discussion of such thematic issues as the types of music instruments at each locality, the socio-cultural values of each music practice, music performances, challenges of traditional music practices, opportunities for conservation, societal awareness and attitude towards music practices. It specifically considers the socio-cultural values and performing places of music: work chants (during keeping cattle and crop; harvest; and plow), hunting chants, funeral procession chants, wedding chants, public holiday chants, accompanying rituals, and war chants. The role and impact of the government’s policy and institutions such as the Culture and Tourism Offices on the indigenous music practices, either in constructive or otherwise ways, has been also discussed. Finally, it attempts to opt in the colloquy centering the nature and trend of “Ethiopian Music”. It argues in favor of at least the existence of a peripheral treatment, if not marginalization, (in the literature and among the practitioners) of the music practices in these localities.
THE REVIVAL OF THE ENDANGERED ETHIOPIAN TRADITIONAL MUSIC INSTRUMENTS ‘BEGENA’ AND ‘MELEKET’ AT SISAY BEGENA TRADITIONAL MUSIC INSTRUMENT INSTITUTE [Abstract ID: 0208-09]
In Ethiopia, there are a lot of traditional music instruments which have a tremendous value and play various types of roles in the societies. Although these traditional music instruments are available in different parts of the country, they are not well studied, documented and preserved except for very few. Most of these traditional music instruments are endangered due to lack of preservation even if they are an important part of the society’s cultural and historical heritages. Besides, the influence of modern musical performances is putting the traditional instruments in jeopardy. Understanding the above indicated problems and influences, Sisay Begena Ethiopian traditional music instrument institute is working on the revival of some of these endangered Ethiopian traditional musical instruments in various ways (by teaching and making the instruments). This study examines the efforts made by the institution to revive the ‘Begena’ and ‘Meleket’. It focuses on the historical background of the instruments, their values and the role they play in the society, the efforts made to make and revive their music instrument making workshop, efforts made on teaching how to play the instruments in their institute, their contribution in keeping traditional and cultural musical heritages and the challenges they are facing in doing so. In the study, qualitative method was used. Data was collected using field observation, interview and document analysis. Finally, the results are discussed, conclusion and recommendation are forwarded.
WHY AZIMAR PERFORMANCE IS STAGE ORIENTED THAN PARTICIPATORY: NARRATING SELF-EXPERIENCE OF FENDIKA AZIMAR BET [Abstract ID: 0208-08]
This paper is designed to narrate the self-experience of Fendika Azimar Bet that was established in 2008 in Addis Ababa. It is a kind of sharing personal experience and self-reflection over importance of participatory azimar performance. Before Fendika was established as a kind of private traditional music institution, for 12 years I had been performed as dancer without any salaries, rather small gifts afforded from the audience. Expecting to get a job I served as a volunteer at Ras Theater for 6 months and at the National Theater for 3 months. Nonetheless, I was never trained in the modern higher art schools about traditional dance, rather I believe my dance skills came from participating in public events like Timqet festival, digis, and wedding events.These events, especially Timqet (Ethiopian Epiphany), laid a foundation to learn the dance styles of the different Ethiopian ethnic groups. Later, I joined Azimars in Fiker Bar and restaurant and night club, named as Fendika. At a time the role of the Fendika was simply to entertain the bar customers with azimar musicians and dancers. The owners never pay money for players or dancers. At that time, the customer whom I contacted in the bar invited me to perform an Ethiopian dance in America and Europe in 2008. Soon, I was returned back and rented the whole bar from the owner and turned the bar into Azimar Bet. Hence, I had begun to hire azimars with fixed salaries as well as introduced a trend of paying the entrance fee, at least to value azimar. In the same year, Fendika performed its work at Alliance Art School, Addis Ababa University, France and Holland. Furthermore, international institutions like Harvard University invited me and I offered training about Ethiopian dance/style. Moreover, in 2009 it began to collect legendary performers of Kunama, Somali, Wollaita, Konso, Oromo, Tigray and Amahra in which Ethio-Color night club was established, questioning how to depict the original indigenous music and dances. In addition, since 2016 it brought in indigenous music instrument player and dancers from different countryside (like Tsadiqe- from Gamo and Dinka from Dawuro) to exhibit their work at Fendika Center. Now Fendika produced documentaries on Ethiopian dance and performances such as Fendika, Birabiro, and Ethio-Color, performing at merkato and misunderstanding. Every Friday, it has a night events that attract huge amount of domestic and foreign music audiences. In this paper, as a dancer, I want to argue that when traditional performance is stage oriented, it seems to me we are fast-moving its death and to display it in a museum. On the other hand, it proposes what, why and how to create participatory Azimar performances. Its aim is to reduce the negative connotations towards azimar not only from illiterate groups, but from literate music professionals -“big infants” and the internal challenges within azimar groups. Lastly, it seeks an intervention to win over those challenges and strengthen collaborative efforts with other public and private institutions, individuals and NGO which are working in the field of Ethiopian indigenous performances.
ZUMBARA, BOLTSITSIYO, AND KOMIYA: TRADITIONAL WIND MUSIC INSTRUMENTS MAKING, SOCIAL VALUES AND CULTURAL MEANINGS AMONG BERTA AND THE GUMUZ PEOPLE, BENISHANGUL-GUMUZ REGION [Abstract ID: 0208-04]
Music is as old as man himself. The natural environment has inspired man and contributed to the development of musical practices and the making of musical instruments. Through the imitation of natural phenomenon like the sound of wild life (animals and plants), man came about his music ages ago. Traditional music and the making of musical instruments can describe a lot about past history and related cultural practices and philosophy of traditional societies. In this study, three wind musical instruments found in the Benishangul - Gumuz Region, which are not well-recognized, not well-studied and documented even if the area has a rich musical heritage, were assessed. It was intended to give some basic highlights on musical practices, making and their social values. The study reveals that musical performance and instruments were used in different social events, ritual ceremonies and work times. It also briefly defined that cultural music has also the power to strengthen social cohesion in the societies. Data was collected from May 5-24/2016 through field observation, interview and digital, textual and musical analysis. The paper focuses on discussing the making of the indicated wind traditional music instruments, Zumbara, Boltsitziyo and komiya which are found in the Benishangul -Gumuz Region. It also looks into the social values, cultural musical practices, the challenges that the musical instruments and practices face due to the modern musical influences and finally the summary and conclusion.