A Musical Marvel called Ilayaraja

One of the greatest music directors ever, the one and the only Maestro Ilayaraja.

Below is a beautiful composition by this great man, the uniqueness of this tune being that its composed using only three notes of an octave.

In other words, out of the sa, ri, ga, ma, pa, da, ni notes, Ilayaraja has used only three notes ie sa, ri and ga.

In western music this becomes equivalent to composing a tune using only C,D,E notes of the octave.

See how beautiful and catchy the tune is, and also the wonderful orchestration.

Ilayaraja before becoming an independent music director, had worked with the famous Kannada music director G K Venkatesh, who said about Ilayaraja that,

What else can I wish in my life, when God has already given me such a wonderful student in the form of Ilayaraja!

He also said, An Ilayaraaja number is overshadowed only by another Ilayaraja number!

So enjoy the music

Inspired by Ilayaraja, I had attempted to compose a tune using only two notes. I had used only sa and pa, which in western style is like using only C and G notes of the octave in a tune.

You can check it out here .

Below is another beautiful composition by Ilayaraja from the Tamil movie Agni Nakshatram,
Neth illai Naale illai Eppavum Na Raja – Forever Ilayaraya is THE KING

Now below is another beautiful Ilayaraja composition in Kannada sung by Dr.Rajkumar and S Janaki. Look at the beauty of this song which touches so many ragas!

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  • Nagendran

    God of music has composed the song in Only one note also. In Tamil film name “Thanga Magan” starred by Super Star Rajinikanth. Song is Vaa vaa pakkam vaa…. Pakkam vara vekkama… Manmadha mogathilae… Valiba vegathilae…

  • Preetham Kumar

    IF MUSIC IS A RELIGION. THEN ILAYARAJA IS THE GOD OF MUSIC. HE IS THE GREATEST MUSICIAN EVER I FOUND IN THIS ERA. I AM A HARDCORE FAN OF ILAYARAJA. HE IS THE ONLY PERSON IN THE WORLD WHO COMPOSED MORE THAN 900 FILMS. EVEN THOUGH HE COMPOSED THAT MANY FILMS YOU CAN’T FIND EVEN A SINGLE TUNE WHICH IS COPIED FROM OTHER. HE RULED THE SOUTH INDIAN MUSIC EVEN IN THE TIMES OF INADEQUATE FACILITIES(IN 70′S AND 80′S) FOR SINGING, RECORDING, MIXING ETC.. HIS RANGE IS BEYOND OSCARS AND GRAMMIES. HIS IS THE INSPIRATION FOR INNUMERABLE PRESENT DAY YOUNG MUSICIANS.
    A.R.REHMAN IS HIS STUDENT. ILAYARAJA IS THE FIRST ASIAN TO COMPOSE A SYMPHONY.
    AFTER RECIEVING OSCAR, REHMAN SAID IN AN INTERVIEW ABOUT ILAYARAJA THAT “ILAYARAJA’S RANGE IS BEYOND OSCARS” AND ALSO TOLD “DON’T COMPARE ME WITH MY GURU !!”
    IF OSCAR COMMITTEE WOULD HAVE CONCENTRATED ON INDIA EQUALLY WITH OTHER COUNTRIES, THEN IT IS DAM SURE THAT ILAYARAJA WOULD HAVE GOT MANY OSCARS.
    HE IS KING OF MUSIC. HE RULED, HE IS RULING AND HE WILL RULE IN FUTURE
    “”LONG LIVE MAESTRO ILAYARAJA”

    • http://www.hitxp.com Gurudev

      Very true Preetham and I completely agree with you. Ilayaraja is the God of Music.

  • pRaViN

    raja sir..im frm malaysia…i love ur song so much..im ur fan for ever sir…illayraja 4ever..

  • pRaViN

    hi raja sir…ur song nice..ur song super…i love u raja sir….frm pRaViN…

  • stephen sadeesh kumar

    isaikkaga pirantha isai thirumagan……..tamil makkalin gene of coding sequencela merge aagitar…….pithovan,ilayaraja…..next ? no. ur flute,tabla,voilin nobodycan use these instruments as good as raja sir….

  • kumar

    if anyone has used “”pin drop silence”" as an “”effect”" in interludes and bgms in tamil films and songs..that is none other than ilaiyaraja..every other musician just got inspired on his work and followed.

  • nalin

    check out http://www.indiatales.com/mgm and raaja.co. He has just released his first bhajan album on lord ayyappa. only available online. not in stores.

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  • vishwa

    ILAYARAJA is the god of music.
    he is a gift of saraswati,
    whether so called hindi north indian music directors know his
    greatness or not.
    he should be awarded with bharath rathna and more than that.
    Effort should be made to popularise the greatness of ilayaraja
    in north india and in the world.

  • venkat

    comparing a chicken with an elephant it self is rubbish.

    FYI : ilayaraja has composed a song in 2 notes.That was in banglaore for hte golden jubilee celebration of a indian telephone industry.it was a raj tv program.

  • ramana

    It is simply beautiful! Great Gurudev!
    These kind of things will bring me to this blog!!!
    Ramana

  • http://www.hitxp.com/ Gurudev

    Great explanation by “”Raaja Rules”" about Ilayaraja

    Ilayaraja is the emperor of modern filmi music
    Neth illai Naale illai eppavun thaa Raaja – Ilayaraja ;)

  • http://raajarulez.blogspot.com Raaja rules

    @ Sivaramakrishnang:

    For your information, Dr.Balamuralikrishna has invented a ragam called Mahati, which has four notes both in Arohana and Avarohana and dis ragam has been used by the great MSV for Athisaya Ragam – Apoporva Ragangall. Are you sure, it has only two notes? Checkout Raaja sir community (big one with 43,000 + fans) in orkut, at which one Mr.Rajendran is writin bout Raaja sir’s usage of ragam in cine-music. Awesome!!!

    ~~Raaja rules

    • GUEST

      DEY SIVARAMAKRISHNA, MOTHALLA MUSIC BASICS THERINJUKKO, APPURAM MSV ILAIYARAJA IVANGALAPATHIYELLAAM PESU.

  • http://raajarulez.blogspot.com Raaja rules

    @ Gururaj:

    Height of ignorance.

    Raaja sir is de 1st asian to work with Royal philharmonic orchestra and 1st indian to compose symphony. I have never come across any composer in world to use such an orchestra work for cine-songs… From de site: Ilaiyaraaja was the first film composer to extensively employ within the Indian film music framework the harmonies and string arrangements intrinsic to Western classical music. This allowed him to craft a rich tapestry of sounds for films, and his themes and background score gained notice and appreciation amongst Indian film audiences. The range of expressive possibilities in Indian film music was broadened by Ilaiyaraaja’s methodical approach to arranging, recording technique, and his drawing of ideas from a diversity of musical styles.

    Greene, P.D. 1997. Film music: Southern area. Pp. 542-546 in B. Nettl, R.M. Stone, J. Porter and T. Rice (eds.). The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music. Volume V: South Asia The Indian Subcontinent. New York: Garland Pub. (p. 544): “”deep understanding of so many different styles of music allowed him to create syncretic pieces of music combining very different musical idioms in unified, coherent musical statements”".

    I was a great fan of Rahman untill I started listening to Raaja sir’s music. I am still a fan of Rahman. His presentation and sounds are good and not creativity, jus cut and paste work. He is simply using pre-recorded loops, which are created by some x-programmer. He does not create any own loops for his work eh?, only additional program he does tat his assistance and recently he got some pluggin from hyderabad :( Did ya listen to beats Sil Sil from arindhum ariyamalum and Barse Re from Guru??? Beats of Poove Poove – Poovellam Kettupar and Roja Roja from kadalar dinam??? Beats of Anbe Anbe from Mugavari and Nenjil from Kannathil muthammittal? Each pair of songs have same beat arrangement. Bottomline, Rahman did not copy those beats and programmed ‘em for his songs. He has used the same pre-recorded loops wut other composers had used. That’s it…He did not compose any rhythm for his songs…However, Raaja sir will compose his own ludes (pre, inter and post) or BGM for his songs. Bout Raaja sir usage of instruments, you can find some many idioms of Call and response, rhythmic understructure, improvisations, blue notes, polyrhythms, syncopation, Capriccio of string orchestra, swung note, harmony, cantabile, counterpoint or counter-melody, polymeter, tight rhythm section, pizzicato through string orchestra, popping and slapping through bass guitar allegro, prestissimo, presto, cavatina, coda, accelerando, parody, impromptu, canon, cadenza, castrato, cantata and many moreeeeeeeee and I need my full birth to explain his usage of orchestra…However, Rahman jus use multi-layer stuff, additional program toppin on beats n many ingredient wid awesome sound effect, tats it. So he is great music arranger and sound-engineer.

    Anyway as far as I am concerned, I have totally moved over to Raaja sir. Mind you this is coming from a Rahman fan.

    Younger generation may not appreciate Rahman because he is very still very young (40?) and his music is foppish. Only time will tell. Gotcha ;)

    ~~Raaja rules

  • http://raajarulez.blogspot.com Raaja rules

    @ ursri:

    Raaja sir normally, will take lesser time to compose the songs for any movie and record it in a half-day. Even, director – Vasanth said in a music program (Raagamalika) at Jaya TV by last sunday tat Raaja sir took just half an hour to compose all the songs for the movie – Keladi kanmani.

    ~~Raaja rules

  • Prafulla rout

    Hi,
    Illiyaraja is legend to legend…………………he is the god for me in music….

  • http://www.hitxp.com/ Gurudev

    anbu nanba
    idu engaluk pudu varthey, adakkaage rombo nandri ungalk
    aanaal ilayaraja paatil pallavi mattrum illai, charanam kooda moone swarangalil irukkum
    neengal sonna paatai naangal kekkuron, rombo nandri

  • sivaramakrishnang

    anbu nanbarE,
    Isaignani oru isai MEDHAI ENBATHU sollamalellorukkum theriyum.avarai patru evvalavu pugazhnthu pEsinaalum avarthahuthiyaanavar.Ithu yaaraalum marukkamudiaathu.
    Aanaal 3 swarangalil avar mattumE muthal muthalil isai amaithullaar enbathil thaan sirithu karuthu vErubaadu.
    Thiru MSV avargal
    ABOORVA RAAGANGAL PADATHIL paritchaarthamaaga ithai sethu paarthullaargal
    Athisaya raagam endra KJYesudass paadiya paadalin pallavi moondru swaringalil isayamaikkappattullathaaha BaalamuraliKrishna avargal solliyullaargal.
    Visaarithu paarthukkollavum
    anbudan
    sivaramakrishnan
    (Ithu oru thagavalukkaaha mattumthaan)

  • Prasanna venkatesh

    Hi,
    Illayaraja is a god of god for Tamilians as he born and brought from Tamilnadu.He is a immense gift for Tamilnadu.
    His one of the flavour “”Un manasula paatu than…”" from Pandi Naatu Thangam is so pleasant to hear(pathetic version),as that song contains lot of violin blends,And also he had composed incredibly in this song with violins.
    He is my life………..And he is my wife…………Instead of Giving Isaignani for Illayaraja….I would say that most suited word for Illayaraja is Lord illayaraja….
    Thanks for your(all) patience by reading this statement…

  • http://www.hitxp.com/ Gurudev

    Taste of music varies from person to person..
    For me what is more important is whether a song can be sung with the same melody, if one removes all the instruments, effects etc and only the singer sings the song.

    There are lots of rehman songs which sound pale when sung only by the singer without any accompaniments of instruments and effects.
    On the other hand I am yet to come across an Ilayaraja song which does not retain its melody when sung only by the singer :)

    SPB appreciates every body, including Rehman.. but he has clearly said that nobody can beat Ilayaraja in terms of music composition..

  • Gururaj

    I know Illayaraja has won critical acclaim. I think he was even recognized by London Phil Harmonic society (not sure if I got that right).
    But from a common man/s perspective, I was a great fan of Illayaraja untill I started listening to Rehaman’s music. I am still a fan of Illayaraja . His tunes are very good but his use of instruments is a bit poor IMHO. Rehaman is simply amazing there. Even though he uses modern technology the charm of his music doesn;t lie in producing a refined sound. e.g he uses the rustic sound of wind when blown into a flute rather than the fine tuned sound of wind from the flute to create the charm. ie though using modern tech he finally creates charm by the simple sounds of the instruments. his choice of singers to exactly match the mood & tune of the song is another fantastic aspect. He is a more wholesome musician in my opinion. and he also sings very well.

    SPB may not appreciate Rehaman because he is very still very young. Only time will tell.

    Anyway as far as I am concerned, I have totally moved over to Rehaman. Mind you this is coming from a Illayaraja fan.

  • http://www.hitxp.com/ Gurudev

    Ilayaraja is THE BEST :)

    Rehman is also a wonderful musician. But Ilayaraja is far far ahead of Rehman or anybody else for that matter. If you know classical music, then you can easily make out the great difference. Ilayaraja is a absolute genius. He has even created new ragas!!

    Rehman uses a lot of modern technology in his music, while most of Ilayaraja songs are of yesteryears.. Just recompose old Ilayaraja songs using modern technology and you have music for next 50 years…
    No compositions can even come anywhere near Ilayaraja compositions like “”Kavidhai Kelungal”" of punnagai mannan… naguva nayana of pallavi anpallavi.. see the complexity in songs like Kelade Nimageega from Gita

    Ilayaraja is simply amazing… ask SPB and he says that Ilayaraja is the real giant of music :)

  • Gururaj

    Well I have listened to both Illayaraja and AR Rehaman’s music and you know what I find some of AR Rehaman’s music most enthralling. He has an amazing grasp of the phonetics of sound. sorry guys to bring in Rehaman here but I just couldn’t resist :-)

  • Ram

    Music is divine… Illayaraja fertilizes it… I became a music freak by listening 2 his music… He’s genious, none else is comparable 2 his talent.

  • ursri

    Ilayaraja composes 6 songs in 30 min.s for tamil movie. Thats Raja’s ability.

    ??? ???!: 30?????????? 6????????? ????? : http://thatskannada.oneindia.in/movies/headlines/2007/2610-maestro-iliaraja-work-style.html

  • RAMPRAKASH G.R

    I never heard a such a beautifull melody song from any Music dirscters apart from Illaiyaraja…….

    Illaiyaraja is Number 1 in Music Industries….He has a talent in all music flavours……..
    I love him very much………………………………………….

  • RAMPRAKASH G.R

    Illaiyaraja is Raja to every Music Lovers…….
    No one can beat him…He is legend of Legend

  • http://www.hitxp.com/ Gurudev

    Krish

    No I havent heard the Italian Concert, can you please send me the link if you happen to find it anywhere? Thanks in advance

    Sriram
    Yes, his songs are amazingly amazing! Even in kannada he has scored beautiful numbers like for the movies pallavi anupallavi, Geeta, BhoomiGita, Nammoora Mandaara Hoove etc.

  • sriram

    15th october 2007

    Dear Sir,
    We already know that illayaraja made a wonderful and lifting music in both tamil and telugu. I heard that some tunes and it will never and it continues to entrall the music lovers till the earth alive. He is a creative person and bring joys to all music lovers. I remember some of the songs in telugu movies like Seethakoka chilaka, Abilasha, Geethanjali and some of the tunes made is so good that even today if we listen to that tunes it looks so fresh and it never fades away.

    Lastly I can pray that illayaraja should bring some more good tunes to the music lovers. I am not fan of him but his tunes are so good that the music lovers will sit with rapt attention.

    thanking you

    sriram kumar

  • Krish

    Fantastic.. But have you listened to the one Raja played during the Italian concert, with just the intrumentals..it is awesome..

  • San

    Hmmm Guru RAJA