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Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Tarana (Urdu:ترانہ, Hindi: तराना) is a type of composition in Hindustani classical vocal music in which certain words and syllables (e.g. "odani", "todani", "tadeem" and "yalali") based on Persian and Arabic phenomes[1] are used in a medium-paced (madhyalaya) or fast (drut laya) rendition. It was invented by Amir Khusro[2], and is similar to the Qalbana form of Sufi poetry.

In modern times, the tarana is most commonly associated with Ustad Amir Khan, who did research on its origins and the syllables used, and helped popularize it.

The words are from Persian and Arabic. Sometimes some of the syllables used are from sitar or tabla; singers might recite full compositions (e.g. tihais, gats, tukdas) within the body of the tarana.

The structure consists of a main melody, usually short, repeated many times, with variation and elaboration at the performer's discretion. There is a second contrasting melody, usually with higher notes, which is introduced once, and goes back to the main melody[citation needed].

In the words of Thakur Jaidev Singh, an influential commentator on Indian music:

[Tarana] was entirely an invention of Khusrau. Tarana is a Persian word meaning a song. Tillana is a corrupt form of this word. True, Khusrau had before him the example of Nirgit songs using śus#k-aks#aras (meaningless words) and pāt*-aks#aras (mnemonic syllables of the mridang). Such songs were in vogue at least from the time of Bharat. But generally speaking, the Nirgit used hard consonants. Khusrau introduced two innovations in this form of vocal music. Firstly, he introduced mostly Persian words with soft consonants. Secondly, he so arranged these words that they bore some sense. He also introduced a few Hindi words to complete the sense…. It was only Khusrau’s genius that could arrange these words in such a way to yield some meaning. Composers after him could not succeed in doing so, and the tarana became as meaningless as the ancient Nirgit.

Ustad Amir Khan... Tarana
5 min - 30 Apr 2010
Uploaded by IMIRZA777

Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan - Tarana in Jaunpuri
5 min - 25 Aug 2007
Uploaded by kishoriray

Raag Jog - Tarana - Veena Sahasrabuddhe
4 min - 30 Oct 2010
Uploaded by SJisBack


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