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Hermon Berhane – HAWEY/ሓወይ – New Eritrean Music 2017

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Because of differing fundamental concepts of music, the languages of many cultures do not contain a word that can be accurately translated as “music,” as that word is generally understood by Western cultures (Nettl 2005). Inuit and most North American Indian languages do not have a general term for music. Among the Aztecs, the ancient Mexican theory of rhetorics, poetry, dance, and instrumental music used the Nahuatl term In xochitl-in kwikatl to refer to a complex mix of music and other poetic verbal and non-verbal elements, and reserve the word Kwikakayotl (or cuicacayotl) only for the sung expressions (Leon-Portilla 2007, 11). In Africa there is no term for music in Tiv, Yoruba, Igbo, Efik, Birom, Hausa, Idoma, Eggon or Jarawa. Many other languages have terms which only partly cover what Western culture typically means by the term music (Schafer 1996, 222-223). The Mapuche of Argentina do not have a word for music, but they do have words for instrumental versus improvised forms (kantun), European and non-Mapuche music (kantun winka), ceremonial songs (öl), and tayil

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