During the reign of Emperor Gabre Maskal (550 A.D.), St. Yared compiled the famous Mezgaba Deggua (this means the hymn of sorrow which includes three main modes;
At that time, singing loudly was not allowed. One day, three birds came flying toward St.Yared.
The first bird was Green, the second bird was yellow, the third bird was red in color.
[ Exactly the same as the Ethiopian flag].
The birds exemplified the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
The birds also exemplify the melodies named as
(a) Geez - (green bird), the first stage of the song
(b) Uzil - (yellow bird), the second stage to be sung together with the first
(c) Ararai - (red bird), the sorrowful song and plaintive
As indicated in Genesis Chapter 22, No 28-31, one of the birds said to Young Yared
" Yared the Great one, you are holy, the stomach that carries you is holy".
Then the birds disappeared.
Young Yared was deeply contemplating about the heavenly Jerusalem. He heard the angles gathered around God and Begna (Ethiopian Harp). Young Yared learnt the heavenly musical praise. He went back to the city of Axum and entered the church of Zion and stood in front of the Ark of the Covenant ( Tabot Tsion). He started praising the Lord by singing in GeeZ loudly
Hale luya le-Ab
Hale luya le-wold
Hale luya le- Menfes qidus
kedamiha le-Tsion Semaye sarere
webedagim arayo le-Muse
Ze-Keme yigzebir gebra le-debtera
It is translated as:
Halleluia to the Father
Halleluia to the Son
Halleluia to the Holy Spirit
Prior to Zion God created the Heavens
God showed Moses the tent
He called this song the rhythm of Aryam (Zema Aryam). Which means a rhythm that came from the angles or the heavens. This rhythm will never be lost until the end of this world. The Gift of God can never be destroyed by man. Civilizations pass but praising of God in a heavenly manner would never cease.
God told us to praise him as do the angles, following the example of Saint Yared. The rhythm and the songs are always new. They never get old.
The word Aryam translates as "above all". We can find the word Aryam in several places in the bible. The angles sang "praise be God BeAryam", when Jesus was born from Saint Mariam. When Jesus came to Jerusalem on an Ass, the people sang "Hosanna BeAryam".
Saint Yared Musical Notation
Deret : represents the resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ
Difat : Jesus came to this world
Zu : Jesus thought us
Qurt : Jesus decided/promised to save Adam from death
Yezet : Jesus was caught and beaten by the Jews
Qinat : Judah has given up Jesus to the Jews
Chiret : Jesus Christ was beaten
Hidet : Jesus was take to Hanna and to Pilatos
Rikrik : JesusRis: The prophesy told by David was realized on Friday.
His work is so intricately done with words suitable for prayers and for the glorification of God. Though he visited second Rome, his work is uniquely Ethiopian, bearing no resemblance to western notation.
Yared's hymns have been divided into four seasons of the year;
Massow (Fall), Hagle (Summer), Tseday (Spring), and Kiramt (Winter),
and they have been planned to bring a greater sense of reality in the praise of the people.
The different sounds of chanting or music are the joy or the sorrow or the brave determination for the Christian people