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Tilang

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This raag occurs in the Raagmala as a ragini of Hindol . Today, it belongs to the Khamaj that (raag classification system). It is/was used a lot in the Islamic Sufi tradition and in modern singing styles such as Tumri and Ghazal. Gurbani in this raag is sprinkled with Islamic vocabulary, further highlighting its Islamic Sufi origin.

Tilang is used by Guru Nanak (6 hymns), Guru Ram Das (3), Guru Arjan(5), Guru Tegh Bahadur (3), Kabir (1) and Namdev (2) for a total of 20 hymns.

Tilang is performed mostly at night (3pm to 6pm); it has a mellow, semi-romantic and pleasing mood but with a hint of yearning. In the texts composed for this raag, the question is asked why man should cling to all the evils of this life when Guru Nanak has shown the way to true happiness and fulfilment. This raag is mostly sung as mid-scale raag but it's perfectly appropriate to use all three scales in this raag.

This raag has a Ni flat (ni komal) in the descent.

It's defining characteristics are: PS'NS'nP, PS'NS'PnP, some ragis add a R (S*R*NS*PnP).

The very popular Bani: "Sahib Mera Meharvaan" is written in this raag, the nature of the Bani is very much in keeping with the nature of Tilang.

Aroh : Sa Ga Ma Pa Ni Sa

Avroh : Sa ni(komal) Pa Ma Ga Sa

Vadi : Ga

Samvadi : Ni

There is a variant of this raag in Gurbani called Tilang Kafi.

See also Raga, Kirtan, Sikh Kirtan, Taal

(source: Harjinder Singh Lallie of GurmatSangeet.org).

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