Songs of Ethiopia’s Tesfaye Gabbiso
Singing with Understanding in Babylon, the Meantime, and Zion
Imprint: Pickwick Publications
"Lila Balisky's investigation into the songs of Tesfaye Gabbiso is destined to become a classic in the power of theologizing through song in the midst of suffering. Her intimate understanding of the Ethiopian context, having lived through the Ethiopian Marxist revolution (1974-1991) with local believers, brings authenticity to the depth of Tesfaye's testimony in songs that sustained Ethiopian Christians during severe persecution. It will force you to think more deeply about God and His ways."
—Roberta R. King, Professor of Communication and Ethnomusicology, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA.
“Writing and researching from a posture of humility, and with nearly 40 years of cross-cultural ministry in Ethiopia, Lila Balisky has written a superb study of the life narrative and songs of Ethiopian singer, composer, and church leader Tesfaye Gabbiso . . . Vividly aware of the challenge of translating meaning from one language and medium to another, Balisky takes the necessary precautions and gets it right. She has given us a wonderful study that celebrates both musical creativity and deep indigenous worship.”
—Darrell Whiteman, Missiological Anthropologist, Global Development
“Tesfaye, Ethiopia’s most distinguished and renowned gospel singer has inspired, encouraged, and uplifted millions of Ethiopians through his theologically sound, but musically superb songs, which he has composed and sung. This is particularly true of the songs he produced when the church came under fire during the times of the Ethiopian Revolution. This book represents a significant addition to the study of music in Ethiopia and marks a major step in introducing the Ethiopian dimension of ethnomusicology to the larger scholarly conversation.”
—Tibebe Eshete, Department of Religious Studies, Michigan State University
“Songs of Ethiopia’s Tesfaye Gabbiso, by Lila Balisky, is a solid work in research methodology and analysis of a modern musical saint and his contribution to Ethiopia and world hymnody. Thanks to Balisky for shedding theological and cultural light on the person, life and ministry of Tesfaye Gabbiso.”
—J. Nathan Corbitt, Professor Emeritus of Cross-Cultural Studies, Eastern University