This account of Ethiopian Hymnody is in two parts: Traditional Hymnody (Ralph Lee); New Songs (Lila Balisky)
Traditional Ethiopian Liturgical Music
Of all the ecclesiastical arts liturgical singing is the most important and jealously guarded in the Ethiopian Orthodox tradition. No external influences are permitted and the purity of the original tradition is uncompromisingly protected. Music creates the atmosphere of worship: Orthodox believers often comment on the spiritual quality and profundity of the singing rather than the words of the sermon. Ethiopian Orthodox sacred music is quite distinct from the wide variety of secular music, known as zäfän. The latter is negatively associated...
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