Tillana is a brisk and a lively number performed towards the end of a concert. Usually a carnatic vocal or a Bharatanatyam concert culminates with a Tillana. The lyrics contain sollus like Dheem Nadir Dheem or Dheem Ta na Di tIllana . Most of the Tillana’s include the word ‘Tillana’ in the lyrics. It is predominantly a rhythmic composition. Tillana usually has jatis as a part of the composition and few lines of Sahityam in the charanam followed by Muktams ( Patterns of swarams) or Sollus. Tillana consists of a Pallavi, Anupallavi, Sahityam and Cittaswaram. The composers enjoy the freedom to add the Sahityam based on the presiding deity of the composer or their Ishta devataa (beloved god). Origin of Tillana can be traced to the Tarana of Hindustani music. Tillana’s were composed in the late 17th and 18th century by Tanjaore quartets, Ootthukkadu Venkata Kavi and Maharaja Swathi Thirunal and many such vidwans. Melattur Veerabhadrayyah is said to be the earliest composer of Tillana’s in the 17th century. The Modern day composers like Late Shri Papanasam shivam, Shri Lalgudi Jayraman and Shri Balamurali Krishna have also composed exciting Tillanas for Dance.
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