Trend setters in Tamil Music  

Friday, October 17, 2008

M.K. Thyagaraja Bagavadhar (1909-1959):

He was a popular actor and singer in the 1930s and 1940s. He was born at Mayiladuthurai. He is considered as the first superstar of Tamil Cinema His first movie was "Pavalakodi" in 1934 and he appeared in another 14 movies until his death. Most of his movies were record breakers. Haridass, released in 1944, ran continuously for three years in Chennai Broadway theatre.He was charged with murder in 1944 but was acquitted and released in 1946. Prior to the arrest he was booked to make 12 movies, but he lost interest and the few movies he did make were unsuccessful. Nevertheless he still drew huge crowds in concerts. He quietly spent his last years, having lost almost all his wealth defending his case.

M.S.Viswanathan & Ramamurthy :

M.S.Viswanathan-Ramamurthy duo dominated the South Indian Film Music especially Tamil
Film Music during mid 50s and 60s. They were responsible for introducing a change in the
orchestration of the songs in Tamil films. They made good use of the guitar and the drums,
and added the touch of Western music into Tamil film songs, which until that time were
pretty much classical oriented. The combination of M.S.Viswanathan and T.K.Ramamurthy
(as the Music Directors), Kannadasan (as the lyricist), T.M.Soundarajan (as the male
singer) and P.Susheela (as the female singer), produced 100s of excellent songs in the
50's and the 60's. Later day Tamil film music directors like V.Kumar, the duo of Shankar-
Ganesh, and some others, started their careers under the wings of M.S. Viswanathan and
and T.K.Ramamurthi. They scored music for a couple of Hindi films but with a lesser
level of success.The duo split sometime in the mid-sixties (1965/1966), after which MSV
continued to score music for Tamil films with great success, almost into the mid-
seventies, before Ilaiyaraja came into the field, and established his own unique style
with greater success, while Ramamurthi did not meet with as much of a success in his solo


Ilayaraja was born on 2nd June 1943 in Pannaipuram, a little hamlet Pannaipuram ,near Madurai,Tamil Nadu . Ilayaraja entered the tamil film industry and composed his first tamil music in 1976 for the movie 'Annakili". The score for this film was a runaway success. It took the audience by surprise as it was totally a different kind of music than the other leading music directors at that time.Most of his movies were a instant hit at the stake of the music alone. Directors used his name to make profit.With his arrival on the scene, for the first time in India, we got a complete music director who does every
thing-composing, orchestration, arrangement of instruments and writing notations.Since then he holds a record of composing songs for more than 750 feature films which include composing songs and also the background track for each one of these movies in Tamil,
Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Hindi and English.And even today there is no one like him who can carry an entire film on the strength of his background music alone - the success of at least 100 movies in India have been solely due to his background score. Innovations in chords, progression of chords, strings, percussion, points & counterpoints, harmony, melody, polyphony, bass in the foreground, waltz like movements, baroque style & symphonic interludes- there is nothing this man has not interpreted in his own inimitable grandiose style.

In July 1993 recorded his first major work in western classical music, his Symphony No.1
with the world famous Royal philharmonic Orchestra of London under the baton of John
Scott. Ilaiyaraaja is the first Asian whose symphony was performed by the prestigious RPO
(Royal Philharmonic Orchestra) whose patron is Her Majesty The Queen Elizabeth and the
president is Lord Yehudi Menuhin.

He is also the first Indian who has written a western classical symphony. Composing a
symphony is the ultimate in composing music in the western classical tradition. That is on
the lines of such great composers like Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, who had given us
so much of great music. The time taken to complete a symphony to be played by a full scale
symphony orchestra varies from composer to composer; depending upon his mood, the
complexity of music, etc. If Mozart took a few days to complete a symphony, Brahms took
fourteen years to complete one of his symphonies. And Ilaiyaraaja well known for his speed
of composing completed this symphony in just one month's time.

Best Music Director many times from the governments of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.
He was conferred the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters by... Annamalai University of Chidambaram,India in April 1994. The World University of Arizona, USA in June 1994. Madurai Kamaraj University in 1996.
Isai Gnani first award given by politician Karunanidhi.

A R Rahman:

A. R. Rahman was born as 'A S Dileep Kumar' to R. K. Shekhar and Kasthuri in Chennai.At
the age of 11, he joined, as a keyboardist, the troupe of Maestro Ilayaraja.In 1992, the
first time he got chance to enter in film field, through a Malayalam film named Yodha.And
with this good entry he was approached by film director Mani Ratnam to compose the score
and soundtrack for manirathnam Tamil film Roja. Roja's score met with high sales and
acclaim, in its original and dubbed versions, bringing about an effective transformation in film music at the time, and Rahman followed this with scores for films including, among others, Bombay, Kadhalan, Indira, Minsaara Kanavu, Muthu and Love Birds, which gained him notice. His soundtracks gained him recognition in the Tamil film industry and across the country for his versatality in classical, Folk, jazz, reggae, soft rock and other styles in his pieces. Rangeela, directed by Ram Gopal Varma, marked Rahman's debut in Hindi films. Many popular and superhit scores for films including Dil Se and Taal followed. The sales of these albums prompted several film producers to take film music more seriously.He is a recipient of the Padma Shri award from the Government of India. Rahman has been involved in several projects aside from film. He made an album Vande Mataram (1997) on
India's 50th anniversary of independence to immense success. As of 3 October 2008, the
song Maa Tujhe Salaam from this album is the 14th most viewed all time music video[7] on
Youtube. He followed it up with an album called Jana gana mana, a conglomeration of
performances by many leading exponents/artists of Indian classical music.Rahman's instant
success is owed to his clever usage of Western instruments to invoke Indian sounds while
his peers tried to invoke Western sounds through Indian instruments.

Harris Jayaraj:

Harris Jayaraj entered the world of film music as a musician, programming scores and drum–percussion for many films under the famous Indian Music Director A R Rahman. He started his career by composing beats for TV advertisements. His first music score for a commercial movie was for the Tamil film Majunu.But Minnalae was reached the audience better than his first movie. The music was well received, especially the song "Vaseegara", made the film becoming a big box office hit, running the charts for weeks. After Minnale, Harris composed music for the Tamil movies 12B and Kovil which were once again a huge musical super hit. His first music score in Bollywood was for Rehna Hai Terre Dil Mein, a remake of Minnale', which was again a hit. His recent release Dhamdhoom has fetched accolades.

Yuvan Shankar Raja:

The first film he composed for was the Tamil film Aravindhan. He captivated the youth's attention by the refreshing Thulluvatho Ilamai album. Then there is no turn back for him. Hailing from a musical family, much of Yuvan’s inspiration is said to come from the several genres he grew up listening to such as Western classical music, pop, rock, heavy metal, jazz, urban Hip hop and other styles and sounds. His versatality is his big asset. He ranges from rustic Tamil folk to heavy metal. His father Ilaiyaraaja is also an inspiration. Yuvan Shankar Raja is renowned for his unique blend of melody and electronic orchestration. Soundtracks for films such as Kadhal Kondein, 7G Rainbow Colony, Kanda Naal Mudhal and others were released to acclaim and popularity. He is known for his ability to produce hit albums back to back in a very short period of time. When Yuvan started music career he was heavily compared to his elderly brother Karthik Raja and often criticized by music critics but later on gained momentum after the hit music for Poovelaam Ketupaar. His recent hits in combination with Venkat Prabhu, Chennai 28 and Saroja, proved him to be a maestro for the youth.

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1 comments: to “ Trend setters in Tamil Music

  • vere$hvr$
    October 20, 2010 at 11:04 PM  

    Hey u... I like ur job..!

    I love music...!

    Keep it up..!
    Provide more musicdirectors biblographys...!

    Plz upload any musicdirectors & singers & lyricists.. Photos..!

    By vere$h y@p..!


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