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Masenqo / Masenko / Masinqo

20. 1. 2008

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Azmari playing masenqo in a tejbeit, Lalibela, northern Ethiopia













Azmari playing masenqo in a tejbeit, Lalibela, northern Ethiopia

An azmari is an Ethiopian singer-musician, comparable to the European bard. Azmari, which may be either male or female, are skilled at singing extemporized verses, accompanying themselves on either a masenqo (one-stringed fiddle) or krar (lyre). Azmari often perform in drinking establishments called tejbeit, which specialize in the serving of tej (honey mead).


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The masenqo (also spelled masenko or masinqo) is a single-string bowed lute.[1] The square- or diamond-shaped resonator is normally covered with parchment or rawhide. The instrument is tuned by means of a large tuning peg. As with the krar, this is an instrument used by Ethiopian minstrels, or azmaris ("singer" in Amharic). The masenqo requires considerable virtuosity.[1]

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ a b Shelemay, Kay Kaufman. "Ethiopia", The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, ed. S. Sadie and J. Tyrrell (London: Macmillan, 2001), viii, pp. 355-356.




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