G. Ramanathan was, in a sense, the last composer of the Classical era. He
truely composed in the foot steps of those legends like Papanasan Sivan.
He is the one who exploited TMS' classical singing skills
effectively. Along with the poet Udumalai Narayana Kavi he has given memorable
songs for TFM. He has also composed simple and melodious songs with folk touch.
Before his time, the classical songs of the TFM had a lot of influence from
stage drama songs. It is not wrong to say that G. Ramanathan gave a new
touch to TFM and distinguished it from drama music. His songs brought out the beauty of the
Ragam clearly and boldly. One can quote many examples from his
classic movies such as "Uthama Puthiran", "Ambikapathi" and "Thookku
thookki", to name a few. This is in contrast with his immediate successors
like MSV and K.V. Mahadevan, who composed generally in light classical style.
He has exhibited his depth of knowledge in classical music by
giving sometimes novel interpretations of ragas while strictly
adhering to the grammar. A widely quoted example
is the song "Mullai malar maelae" from the movie "Uthama
He has also showed his knowledge of the western styles as,
for example, in the song "Yaaradi mohini" from the same movie.
It is claimed that this is one of the first truly
composed western songs in TFM.