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Webster-Kogen, Ilana (2016) ''Tezeta' (Nostalgia): Memory and Loss in Ethiopia and the Diaspora.' In: Harris, Rachel and Pease, Rowan, (eds.), Pieces of the Musical World: Sounds and Culture. Abigndon: Routledge, pp. 227-244.

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In an imagined canon of Ethiopian songs, the undisputed top position goes to “Tezeta,” a song that evokes feelings of sadness and affection for country, friends, and relations. The song’s performance practice has changed over time as Ethiopian musicians moved from the countryside to the city, and eventually abroad. Until the 1970s, rural Azmaris (folk-poets) performed “Tezeta” on local stringed instru - ments. In the 1970s, it emerged as the preeminent Ethiojazz standard performed on bass guitars and saxophones by Ethiojazz artists. Today “Tezeta” remains a favorite at home while earning special status across the Ethiopian diaspora among migrants who preserve and experiment with it, sampling it in rap songs and adapting the main themes into local languages and musical vernaculars. The song evokes potent nostalgia for the homeland through a lovesick lament in which Ethiopia is subtly personified. Close analysis and mapping of the multitude of “Tezeta” recordings and adaptations explains how trends in Ethiopian music follow the changes in identity and affiliation wrought by 40 years of migratory upheaval.

Item Type: Book Chapters
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of Arts > Department of Music
ISBN: 9780415723107
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 07 Sep 2020 09:34

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