ETHIOPIQUES 11 - Alèmu Aga - The Harp of King David
Although commonly known as 'King David's hapr', the bèguèna is not actually a member of the harp family: it is in fact an oversized lyre with ten stirngs, either plucked or strummed with a plectrum. It is probably the oldest instrument played in Ethiopia. Alèmu Aga, an undisputed master of the bèguèna, sings religious songs as well as traditional fables, folk tales and his own poems. Meditative, devotional or uplifting for some, simply "mind-blowing" for others, bèguèna music is without doub(t and otherwordly experience for Western ears.