Types of Qəne and their Metric

4.   Types of Qəne and their Metric

Most Qənes are differentiated by their metrical pattern and length of verse.  There are also different types of Qəne which are differentiated by the particular usage of the Säm əna Wärq mode.  Since Qəne is sung as a hymn at a church service, classifying Qənes according to the metrical pattern is commonplace. Accordingly, there are 9 major Qəne types. And since some of them have sub-types, we can say that there are 17 types of Qəne. 

The Qəne type is determined by the quantity and length of the verses. Thus there are some Qənes which have the same quantity of verses but are classified as different types of Qəne because of the variation in the length of the verses. A student starts his Qəne education starting from the shorter Qənes and working up to the lengthy Qənes. Each Qəne stage uses the previous stage as a building block. When a student is able to compose all the different types of Qəne, he is said to Bet Molla. When someone presents the full variety of Qənes he is said to have composed Mulu Bet.

Types of Qəne

a)    Gubaʾe Qana

Gubaʾe Qana comprises of two verses and symbolizes the divine and human nature of God.  There are four types of Gubaʾe Qana differentiated by length of the verse (Short Gubaʾe Qana and long Gubaʾe Qana) and Zema mode ( Gəʾəz Gubaʾe Qana      and ʾəzl Gubaʾe Qana). Some say that Gubaʾe Qana got its name by being presented on Tərr 12 – the commemoration of Qana zägälila (wedding in Cana of Galilee). Others say that it got its name by being presented at an assembly in a place called Qana in Showa. Still others say that the name is given to signify the flavor (Qana) of Qəne. The fact that there are only two verses makes it ideal for beginner students and all Qəne students take their first steps in the world of Qəne with the two verse Gubaʾe Qana.

b)   ʾämlakəye

Zäʾämlakəye comprises of three verses and the zema mode is ʾəzl . The second verse is called Mändärdärya. According to some Qəne experts, the three verses symbolize the mystery of the Trinity. The name Zäʾämlakəye is derived from the fact that this type of Qəne is composed using the first line of Psalm 62 (“አምላኪየ አምላኪየ እገይስ ሀቤከ).  

c)      Mibäzhu

Just like Zäʾämlakəye, Mibäzhu has three verses. The zema mode is ʾəzl and symbolizes the Trinity. The name Mibäzhu is derived from the fact that this type of Qəne is composed using the first line of Psalm 3  (እግዚኦ ሚበዝኁ እለ ይሳቅዩኒ).

d)   Wazema

There are two types of Wazema: Long Wazema (five verses with Araray zema mode) and Short Wazema(two verses). Some say Wazema is named as such because it is composed on the eve (wazema) of a major church holiday. Others say that the name is derived from a line in St. Yared’s chant “ዋይ ዜማ ሰማእኩ እመላእክት ቅዱሳን’’ . The long wazema is always composed on the eve of major church holidays.

e)    Səllase

Səllase has six verses and the zema mode is ʾəzl . This Qəne genre symbolizes the 6 commands of the New Testament. The name is derived from the prayer of the 3 children thanking the god of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob ይትባረክ እግዚአብሔር አምላከ አበዊነ አምላከ አብርሃም አምላከ ይስሃቅ አምላከ ያዕቆብ.

f)     Zäyəʾəze

Zäyəʾəze Qəne is usually presented in honor of a sovereign.  The name is derived from the Psalm where it says “ይዕዜ ትስእሮ ለገብርከ”. There are two types of Zäyəʾəze: long Zäyəʾəze (five verses with Gəʾəz zema mode) and Short Zäyəʾəze  (three verses with Araray zema mode). The Short Zäyəʾəze is also called sahləkä because it is usually presented with the psalm “ተሰሃለኒ እግዚኦ በከመ እበየ ሳህልከ”.     

g)    Mäwädəs

The word Mäwädəs is derived from the verb ወደሰ and denotes gratefulness. There are two types of Mäwädəs: fətah litä (eight verses with Araray zema mode) and kuləkəmu  (nine verses). Fətah litä is so named because it is performed after Psalm 42 (“ፍታህ ሊተ እግዚኦ ወተበቀል በቀልየ”), while kuləkəmu is performed after Psalm 46 (ኩልክሙ አህዛብ ጥፍሁ እደዊክሙ).  

h)   kəbər yəʾəti

This four verse Qəne is usually composed about the subject of the Holy Cross. According to the Zema mode, kəbər yəʾəti is classified into two: Gəʾəz kəbər yəʾəti and ʾəzl kəbər yəʾəti. The name kəbər yəʾəti is derived because it is performed after Psalm 149:9 (“ክብር ይእቲ ዛቲ ለከሉ ፃድቃኑ”).   

i)     ʾət’anä mogär

There are two types of ʾət’anä mogär: Gəʾəz ʾət’anä mogär (seven verses) and ʾəzl ʾət’anä mogär (eleven verses). The first 4 verses of Gəʾəz ʾət’anä mogär and the first 6 verses of ʾəzl ʾət’anä mogär usually recount about the day’s festivity. The last 3 verses of Gəʾəz ʾət’anä mogär and the last 5 verses of ʾəzl ʾət’anä mogär are called ʿäsärä nəgus. The ʿäsärä nəgus is composed in honor of a sovereign or to praise or rebuke a public figure.

 

Habtemariam Workneh

EOTC

Academy of Languages

Qəne Type

# of Verses

Qəne Type

# of Verses

Qəne Type

# of Verses

Gubaʾe Qana

2

ʾəz Gubaʾe Qana

2

ʾəz Gubaʾe Qana

2

ʾəzl Gubaʾe Qana

2

ʾəzl Gubaʾe Qana

2

ʾämlakəye

3

ʾämlakəye

3

ʾämlakəye

3

Mibäzhu

3

Mibäzhu

3

Mibäzhu

3

Wazema

5

Wazema

5

Wazema

5

Short Wazema

2

Short Wazema

2

Long Wazema

5

Səllase

6

Səllase

6

Səllase

6

Zäyəʾəze

5

Zäyəʾəze

5

Zäyəʾəze

5

Short Zäyəʾəze

2

Short Zäyəʾəze

2

Short Zäyəʾəze

2

sahləkä

3

sahləkä

3

sahləkä

3

Fətah litä

8

Mäwädəs

8

Mäwädəs

8

kuləkəmu

9

kuləkəmu

9

kuləkəmu

9

short kuləkəmu

Hawarəyatihu käbäbä

2

Hawarəyatihu käbäbä

2

Gəʾəz kəbər yəʾəti

4

Gəʾəz kəbər yəʾəti

4

Gəʾəz kəbər yəʾəti

4

ʾəzl kəbər yəʾəti

4

ʾəzl kəbər yəʾəti

4

ʾəzl kəbər yəʾəti

4

Gəʾəz ʾət’anä mogär

7

Gəʾəz ʾət’anä mogär

7

Gəʾəz ʾət’anä mogär

7

ʾəzl ʾət’anä mogär

11

ʾəzl ʾət’anä mogär

11

ʾəzl ʾət’anä mogär

11

Gəʾəz ʿäsärä nəgus

ʾəzl ʿäsärä nəgus

Hənts’eha

2

Hənts’eha

2

Hənts’eha

2

Total for 17 types

76

Total for 22 types

81

Total for 17 types

78



The following figure shows the stages through which a Qəne student goes through in order to master the craft of Qəne.