Topic started by rjay (@ 126.96.36.199) on Fri May 8 04:27:19 EDT 1998.
All times in EST +10:30 for IST.
10 years ago an American made a survey
of 3000 songs and analysed them to find out
what makes a hit. One of the startling findings was that 80% of the top hits began with a repeated word.
Having read this, I realised ARR should have read this somewhere too! More than 80% of his
songs (hits or not hits) begin this way.
Chinna Chinna Asai to Haira Haira.
I am not going to list them. I would rather
make a list of ARR songs that DON'T repeat
a word on the first line!
Lot of other music directors have caught this
vagon too - Akila Akila, Nalam Nalamariya,
Dilrupa Dilrupa and so on. and there have
been lots of old hits too - thandana Thandana.
In fact this has been used as a poetic device
What worries me is I suspect ARR is beginning to use this as a formula and this is making his
music very stale and predictable.
- Old responses
- From: Srinath (@ socks16d.raleigh.ibm.com)
on: Tue Aug 25 20:38:38 EDT 1998
Thanks for the compliments :-). I have been in Atlanta for the past 7 weeks on a tightly scheduled project and have been unable to devote as much time to TFM DF as I would like to. I hope to be returning to DC in a couple of weeks and maybe finally get to spend some free time on resuscitating my almost extinct musical interests. But you can always count on me to chip in with counter arguments to any ARR fan ;-)
Here are my arguments...
From what I have seen of IR's compositions they are mostly composed with the chord pattern in mind. ARR's compositions follow a tune. In fact, a friend of mine once mentioned that ARR was shown composing a song during some t.v program about him a few years back where he was sitting at a piano and trying out tunes and writing down the notes that sounded good. The source of the difference might even lie in the way carnatic/hindustani and western music is composed. It's immediately obvious that all carnatic music is note-based whereas almost all western numbers are chord-based. Though they are equally complex, western compositions are severely restricted by scale. Beyond a certain point it does not make sense using discordant chord patterns. This is what would actually result in a tune where the lyricist is tempted to repeat the first few words. If a less talented MD attempts to compose songs in a particular scale once too often, we would have songs that sounded similar and again resulting in tunes that would encourage the use of repeated words. Similarly, if a less talented MD were to try composing with a particular raga in mind (where he would have to watch the notes), he would end up with simple tunes, thereby tempting the lyricist to write repeated words. IMO, ARR belongs to the latter category but with significantly more talent than any of his contemporaries, excluding, of course, IR. Srikanth often appreciates the special chords that ARR uses so often (Srikanth, I hope you don't mind my pulling your name into this! :)). But I think ARR is able to do that because he concentrates on the notes (which gives him a greater flexibility) and then wraps chords based on those notes. Even when IR uses different chords they don't sound too discordant, and when they do, they do so to signify an emphasis in the situation or lyrics. It is very difficult to put chords for carnatic songs and if you are as innovative as ARR, you get to use a lot of different chords. That is my main grouse against ARR. No doubt the man is creative - but he is far from being a genius. He is clever and innovative and he is sufficiently skilled (skilled, as in educated - musically, perhaps) enough to find an outlet for his talents.
You can't recreate an ARR by taking him apart brick by brick and putting him all together in the formula you think you have figured out.
You are absolutely right and I don't intend to dispute that point. He is definitely an original. I (or anybody else, for that matter) may never be able to match his abilities, least of all by attempting to dissect his music and find a 'hidden formula'. But it is much easier to understand how his music works if you look at it at a higher level of abstraction. When it comes down to details, few, if any, of us would be able to match wits with him. But IR's music is simply so overwhelming that you can't even begin to understand how a human mind could conceive such beauty - isn't that what art is all about ? - the ability to reach beyond and grab a handful of the rainbow ? IMO, ARR loses out right there.
Your call.... :)))
- From: Udhaya (@ 188.8.131.52)
on: Wed Aug 26 15:56:36 EDT 1998
Ancient poetry could also be dissected by their meter and syllabic count, the fact you can understand the form of an art does not make it any lesser in value. If a person could play Fur Elise on the piano by following the sheet music for that piece, does the piece become less worthy?
It seems to me that you admire IR for his unconventional method of composing. There is no disagreement that IR is a more wholesome musician than ARR in terms of knowledge and complexity. But off late IR's works sound like he's resting on his laurels or is somewhat bored by composing for TFM, whereas, ARR continues to surprise me creatively.
Since we are attempting to quantify, you tell me would you rather hear mediocre, half-hearted compositions of a bonafide genious or spirited, creative compositions of a hardworking composer?
I vote for the latter.
Beyond this, any discussion will revert to subjectivity so I thank you, Srinath for indulging me.
- From: Srinath (@ socks12d.raleigh.ibm.com)
on: Wed Aug 26 23:51:55 EDT 1998
Looks like I touched a raw nerve ! Genius or not, no performer can be permitted by connoisseurs to be lackadaisical about his art. Bringing this discussion back into perspective, I was expressing the opinion that ARR was indeed guilty, to a certain extent, of encouraging the use of repeated words in TFM. If this is to be appreciated or not is moot. But then, I figured that was what the topic as about. BTW, I have been following you KD vs VM symposiums - spellbound most of the time, of course ;-). Would be lovely to have them as a permanent feature along with Mr.Manisekaran's articles on Bhagavathar and other golden oldies.
- From: junior (@ 184.108.40.206)
on: Sat Aug 29 15:09:32 EDT 1998
guys I just have one sensible thing to say:
ARR is not responsible for the repitittion because when hear a song dubbed into hindi for example chinna chinna asai the lyrics in hindi is dil hai chot asha, now tell me is there a repitition? and consider a song dubbed into tamil: take the song nenjinile nenjinile... the original lyrics were jiya jale na ... is there a repitition? The answer is a big NO.
Conclusion: this repitition is to be blamed on writer and not the composer!
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