Begena This wonderful instrument is undoubtably one of the forefathers of the Indian tanpura. It's open string playing, flat table bridge and its high vibrational timbre, is clearly one of the most closely related instruments to the tanpura. Made by the best begena builder in Ethiopia, this beautiful and historical instrument is used mainly for prayer and ritual ceremonies. The begena is characterized by a very specific buzzing sound, due to U-shaped leather pieces placed between each string and the bridge. The thong for each string is adjusted up or down along the bridge so that the string, when plucked, repeatedly vibrates against the edge of the bridge. This process is also used in the tanpura. Because of the instrument's relatively intimate and sacred role in society, the begena is not common to find.

The Begena is an ancient sacred Ethiopian lyre that according to legend was made by God Himself and given to Dawit (the biblical King David) so that he may adorn and praise His name. Temesgen took to the Begena at an early age. He studied with Alemanhyu Fanta at that Yared School of Music in Addis Ababa, the veteran Begena master was so impressed with his talented pupil that he gifted him his first Begena. The Begena became a constant companion and Temesgen grew musically and spiritually as he delved deeper into the ancient texts and spiritual hymns that constitute the canon of ethiopian liturgical music.