Some popular Ethiopian Orthodox songs, or mezmur, are "Selam Bante New," "Selam Leki," "Beza Kulu," "Semu Mikaele" "Tekle Hayemanot" and "Abetu Lante," notes EthiopiansOrthodoxChurch.org. Ethiopian Orthodox mezmur are the gospel songs typically heard in churches. The word "mezmur" means "music" in Ethiopia's national language, Amharic.Continue Reading
Ethiopian Orthodox mezmur and chants are a major part of the church's tradition. Songs such as "Selam Bante New," and "Beza Kulu" are typically sung in Amharic. Ethiopian mezmur are also sung in other Ethiopian religious groups, such as the P'ent'ay Christians. Ethiopians believe that the songs are for God alone and do not have any cultural or ethnic boundaries. The mezmur do not have to be in a specific style or use a specific type of instrument.
Examples of modern Ethiopian Orthodox mezmur are the collection of hymns by Qes Tsehai known as the "Sunday School Songs." These gospel songs have brought a younger generation of Ethiopian Orthodox parishioners to the church, notes harvard.edu. The songs have also opened up liturgical performance to Ethiopian women, when formerly it was a male-only tradition. One song, "A Voice Cried Out in the Wilderness," is sung in September during the Ethiopian New Year. The song invokes the Virgin Mary, a common theme of Qes Tsehai's music.Learn more about Art & Literature