My teacher sang the arohanam and avarohanam of this raga to me and asked me to recognise the raga. The first thought I had was "I hear shades of Nattai, but I know it not Nattai as I can hear the Kaisiki Nishadam in the avarohanam" And I was not wrong. Tilang has a very close resemblance to Gambheeranattai.
The arohanam-avarohanam of Tilang goes as follows: S G3 M1 P N3 S
S N2 P M1 G3 S
Tilang is actually a Hindustani raga that belongs to the Khamaj Thaat. Carnatic music has adopted the raga as a Deshi raga. And in Carnatic music, it is considered a bhashanga janya raga of Harikambhoji which is the Carnatic equivalent of the Khamaj Thaat. While Harikambhoji has Kaisiki Nishadam, Tilang has Kakali Nishadam in its avarohanam and Kaisiki Nishadam in its avarohanam.
Tilang exudes positivity, happiness and enthusiasm. It can be used in concerts for classical pieces or the pieces sung towards the end of the concert. Its nature also makes it an apt raga for light classical pieces. I learnt the bhajan "Prabho Ganapathe", the Agathiyar composition about Lord Ganesha in this raga.
I have been listening to some of the other works in Tilang and here is what I listened to
- Shri Ganesha Charanam by Papanasam Sivan
- Shanti Nilava Vendum by Sethu Madhava Rao, I listened to T M Krishna's version of it
- Bhajabhaja Manasa
- Ramakrishnaru manage by Saint Purandaradasa
Tilang has been used in Tamil and Malayalam movie music. I think the most popular piece I have read about in Tilang is "Manathil Orudhi Vendum" from Sindhubhairavi composed by Ilayaraja. Another song which I read as being in Tilang is "Thee thee" from Thiruda Thiruda by A R Rahman. In Malayalam movies "Sruthiyamma layamachan" from Madhuranombarakkattu composed by Vidyasagar is one of the songs I have heard in Tilang. I love this song so much, this is one of my favourite ones from Vidyasagar. Another very famous piece in Tilang and this had me very surprised, is one of the greatest ever sad songs in Malayalam movie music from the film "Ulladakkam" composed by Ouseppachan. The song "Pathiramazhayetho" is a haunting melody and is in Tilang.