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In the highlands, traditional string instruments include the masenqo, a one-string bowed lute; the krar, a six-string lyre; and the begena, a large ten-string lyre.[2] The tanbūra, a six-string lyre, is used in Zār rituals.[3] The dita (a five-string lyre) and musical bows (including an unusual three-string variant) are among the chordophones found in the south.[2]

The washint is a bamboo flute that is common in the highlands.[2] Trumpet-like instruments include the ceremonial malakat used in some regions, and the holdudwa (animal horn; compare shofar) found mainly in the south.[2] Embilta flutes have no finger holes, and produce only two tones, the fundamental and a fourth or fifth interval.[2] These may be metal (generally found in the north) or bamboo (in the south).[2] The Konso and other people in the south play fanta, or pan flutes.

In the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, liturgical music employs the senasel, a sistrum.[2] Additionally, the clergy will use prayer staffs, or maqwamiya, to maintain rhythm.[2] Rural churches historically used a dawal, made from stone slabs or pieces of wood, in order to call the faithful to prayer.[2] The Beta Israel use a small gong called a qachel as liturgical accompaniment, though qachel may also refer to a small bell.[2] The tom, a lamellophone, is used among the Nuer and Anuak.[2] Metal leg rattles are common throughout the south.

The kebero is a large hand drum used in the Orthodox Christian liturgy.[2] Smaller kebero drums may be used in secular celebrations.[2] The nagarit, played with a curved stick, is usually found in a secular context such as royal functions or the announcement of proclamations, though it has a liturgical function among the Beta Israel.[2] The Gurage and other southern peoples commonly play the atamo, a small hand drum sometimes made of clay.

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flute -- Traditional musical instruments in widespread use include the semassinko, a one-stringed violin played with a bow; the krar, a six-stringed lyre, played with the fingers or a plectrum; the washint, a simple flute; and three types of drum - the negarit (kettle-drum), played with sticks, the kebero, played with the hands, and the atamo, tapped with the fingers or palm.
Other instruments include the begena, a huge, multi-stringed lyre often referred to as the Harp of David; the tsinatseil, or sistrum, which is used in church music; the meleket, a long trumpet without fingerholes, and the embilta, a large, simple, one-note flute used on ceremonial occasions.

Though often simply made, the massinko can, in the hands of an expert musician, produces a wide variety of melodies. It is often played by wandering minstrels, particularly near eating houses, where the musicians entertain the diners. The rousing rhythms of the negarit were used in times gone by to accompany important proclamations, and chiefs on the march would be preceded by as many as 30 men, each beating a negarit carried on a donkey. The tiny atamo is most frequently played at weddings and festivals, setting the rhythmic beat of folk songs and dances.

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