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Kignit or qenet (ቅኝት) is a mode in the music of Ethiopia, particularly that of the Amhara people in the Ethiopian highlands. There are four main kignit that are used, all of which are pentatonic: tizita (ትዝታ), bati (ባቲ), ambassel (አምባሰል), and anchihoye (አንቺሆዬ).[1][2] Three additional modes are variations on the above: tezeta minor, bati major, and bati minor.[3] Some songs take the name of their qenet, such as tizita, a song of reminiscence.[2]

Ashenafi Kebede was one of the early scholars to standardize the kignits of northern and central Ethiopia.


  1. ^ Kaufmann, Walter. Selected Musical Terms of Non-Western Cultures.
  2. ^ a b Shelemay, Kay Kaufman (2001). Sadie, Stanley; Tyrrell, John, eds. The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. viii (2 ed.). London: Macmillan. p. 356.
  3. ^ Abatte Barihun, liner notes of the album Ras Deshen, 200.
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