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Sambhar Mafia - Cooked To Kill!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Evolution of Tamil Film Music

As part of the Outlook special issue on Hindi Film Music, Theodore Baskaran has a piece on the evolution of Tamil Film Music.

Today, film music is all-pervasive in Tamil Nadu. It enjoys a popularity that has few parallels in history. It has transcended categorisations-an important development in a non-egalitarian society.

(1976)-Today, no other artiste personifies the popularity of film music as does Ilayaraja. He entered Tamil films in the mid-1970s, when there was stagnation in film music. Ilayaraja's creations came as a whiff of fresh air. The song that made him famous in his debut film Annakili Annakili unnai theduthu (Annam is looking for you)-was authentic folk. In his 30 years in cinema, he has composed music for more than 1,000 films in Tamil and four other languages.

Even as Ilayaraja was dominating the scene, A.R. Rahman made his debut with the film Roja (1993) and went on to introduce world sounds and New Age music to our film score. Rahman's stress has been more on songs than on background score. Unlike Ilayaraja, he accentuates the independent aural character of film songs; they aren't necessarily linked to the onscreen images or the characters singing them.

Don't you think the TFM Industry is more fragmented than ever before?


  • I think TFM deserves a much better article than this. It sounds very cursory with no depth whatsoever.

    By Blogger Cogito, at 5:35 PM  

  • yes,Ilayaraja is still king of background music. who can forget his BGM score in 'apoorva sagotharargal'.

    By Anonymous RaajK, at 6:12 PM  

  • Ilaiyaraaja is THE KING of music, be it in BGMs or songs.

    I second cogito

    By Blogger Bala (Karthik), at 10:04 PM  

  • TFM deserves a better and thorough article. I am upset that artistes from the south were overlooked by what is a national mag. Especially since, if we take the whole of south, the artists primarily overlap into each region. I don't think an SPB or Ghantasala etc, fall short of the Mohammed Rafis and Mukherjis.

    TFM is fragmented and in a sorry state today. So much so that someone like me, who is a crazy music fan, hasn't heard anything much in the last few years.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:13 PM  

  • This was like "kosuru" article - at 100,000 feet and what write-up about TFM can ignore KVM, MSV et all ?

    But, having seen the ARR interview on youtube (with outlook group editor?) - one can't expect any better !

    By Blogger Arvind, at 11:52 PM  

  • Seems the writer has something against Rahman. "Sounds"? "aren't necessarily linked to the onscreen images"?
    I'm not sure if I got what you mean by TFM being fragmented.

    By Blogger Jammy, at 5:26 PM  

  • Ilayaraja is the undisputed KING of current Indian music. One shouldn't look at how many movies he is giving music to today, look at the quantity of quality he produced over the years. I am not a big fan of ARR but, apart from Raja, there are no better musicians than ARR in the country. It's kind of embarrassing for a Telugu guy to be saying it. But the truth is all current day Telugu MDs suck.

    By Blogger Twisted DNA, at 1:05 AM  

  • @Cogito,
    since it was meant for a national audience, they would have gone for a high-level writeup.

    I don't know the specifics of this movie, but IR definitely ranks higher in BGM

    agree with u

    I can relate to what you say. Most singers and music directors overlap in the south.

    Given the readership profile of Outlook, they would have stuck to post 80s era.

    My remark on the fragmented part was referring to the fact that we have numerous music directors, but none of them are able to hold sway. Among the current crop, nobody has had a reasonably long run.

    @Twisted DNA,
    After IR and ARR, nobody seems to have created a new trend. they are all trying to emulate ARR/IR.

    By Blogger Kaps, at 10:21 AM  

  • People,
    What about Yuvan Shankar in Pudupettai, havent u heard theme songs ..they all are soooo good.
    Then what about Harris, Vidyasagar...

    We need not argue about, whether the industry is fragmented or not, we should ask whether good songs are coming out of TFM....My vote is yes..

    And YSR will goo great distance.

    By Blogger A K, at 2:27 PM  

  • Also Bollywood will always loook down at kodambakam...dont fuss about them...our people will always do the best..

    By Blogger A K, at 2:29 PM  

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