One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
In Carnatic music: the first section or dominant theme of a song, which may be repeated several times.
Late 19th century; earliest use found in Charles Russell Day (1860–1900). Either from Kannada pallavi refrain, or from Telugu pallavi refrain from Sanskrit pallavī, nominative singular of pallavin having shoots, sprouting from pallava shoot, extension.
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