Moyzé - a special "name-tune" from Ethiopia
An interesting article in The Conversation about an amazing phenomenon from Ethiopia and Papua New Guinea where people, next to their names, also bear "name-tunes". These names aren't words, they're rather a wordless melody, given to children and recognised throughout the community to refer to one person alone. In Ethiopia, it's exclusive to 45,000 Oyda people from the southwest of the country. This “name tune”, or moyzé is most often whistled, but it can also be sung to a series of non-meaningful sounds different for each name tune. In one small region of Madang Province in northeastern Papua New Guinea, about 15,000 people across three language areas (Nankina, Domung and Yopno) also employ name tunes, which they call konggap. Yopno konggap differ in performance style from the Oyda moyzé, since they are either simply whistled with no use of the hands, or sung on a series of open vowels (like “a-o-a-o-e-e-a”). However, konggap and moyzé are strikingly similar. Both moyzé and konggap are unique to every individual, and generally bear no relation to a person’s given name, which is often shared with other community members. The tunes in both traditions use similar pitch ranges and last 1-4 seconds.