Thursday , August 17 2017


As mentioned earlier, Indian Classical Music has various divisions like Khyaal, Thumari, Tappa, Tarana, Hori etc. If a singer or a player wishes to sing Khyaal style, he initially expands Raag through singing. Then he starts Khyaal Cheej in Vilambeet Laya. Then bit by bit, he sings this Cheej in Asthayee and Antara. Once the Raag is beautified with Aalaap Taan and Bol Taan, he then joins Chhota Khyaal in the same Raaga, but in Druta Laya. To end Khyaal, Taanas are sung noticeably. Through a separate article, we shall discuss about Khyaal in future.

Tarana type of singing is exclusive in its own way, as it uses poetry full of powerful words. This brand of singing makes use of words like Nadir, Tundir, Dir Dir.Tarana is found all over India.  In south Indian music it is referred as ‘Tillana’ or ‘Thillana’ and is usually employed in dance performances.

It is based upon the use of insignificant syllables in a very speedy version.

Exciting myth about Tarana origin:

The story refers to the era of AllaudinKhilji.  It mentions two names as opponents one was Gopal Nayak and the other Amir Khusro.  Gopal was conscious that his opponent was difficult to defeat. Therefore, he sang a very rapid Sanskrit song, knowing that Amir Khusro couldn’t know the language.  Yet, Amir Khusro sang the same song, note for note, replacing Persian words for the Sanskrit.  The resulting presentation was breathtaking even though it was incomprehensible to the listeners. Thus Amir Khusro won the contest and invented Tarana.

Tarana, is a vocal form in Indian classical music, perhaps best symbolizes the singer’s recommend to distance from song-text and into the kingdom of instrumental music. As mentioned above, the meaningless syllables in Tarana are used as a musical words fastened with pieces of music and rhythm, permitting musicians to be free from the limits lyrics.

Probably the use of these syllables was stimulated by those used in Aalaap or the musical creativeness of a Raga devoid of a percussion instrument. However, if the above mentioned myth is to be believed, Persian language influenced the Tarana. This is clear from the Persian poetry integrated in the next part of traditional Tarana compositions. Some consider that the syllables in the Tarana have their base in Persian, with their links lost over the years.

Taranas have been arranged in a range of Taals and in diverse Tempi.
Tarana pieces of music have frequently been used in  a concert arrangements with Karnatic and Indian musicians. The above mentioned ‘Tillana’, which is a Karnatic equivalent to the north Indian Tarana, does not consist of Persian words.

The Tarana has a usually short core melody, which is repeated many times, with variation and expansion, with a second, usually higher notes complementary melody, sung once before coming back to the main melody.

‘Khayalnuma’ is an alternative of the ‘Tarana’, which is sung at a leisurelyspeed. At present, this form of ‘Tarana’ music is heard once in a blue moon.