Tigrai Online Nov. 11, 2012
Jazz musician, Mulatu Astatke, a leading Ethiopian composer since the 1960s, gave a presentation to an audience of 500 at the Royal Geographical Society (RGS) in London, on “Ethiopia’s Contribution to World Music”.
Mulatu covered a host of issues in connection with Ethiopia’s history as the cradle of mankind, its unique alphabet, musical notation and the legendary composer and choreographer, Yared,father of the Ethiopian Zema or chant. Yared used modulated keys in church music before even Europeans did. He is a hero and an Ethiopian saint, according to the tradition of the Ethiopian Orthodox church.
Mulatu also expounded on the significance of the eight Ethiopian musical signs which he said takes 15-20 years to study in the traditional schools. Winning recognition for these home-grown notations is among the aims he aspires to achieve, which would consolidate Ethiopia’s contribution to world music.
Ethiopians, he argued, are scientists of sound, inspired by nature and their environment to develop and play an assortment of indigenous musical nstruments including the Masinko, Kirar, the drum and prayer sticks, long before others came onto the scene.
He also shed light on what differentiates jazz from jazz fusion and the contribution of Ethiopians to the enhancement of music.
Source: Ethiopian Embassy London, Read more