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Braving it up with MSV's melody...an exploration - I
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Vatsan
The Fervent


Joined: 20 Jan 2007
Posts: 352

PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2008 3:13 pm    Post subject: Braving it up with MSV's melody...an exploration - I Reply with quote

Readers...this is the start of a discussion on MSV melody completing skills. As expected, there are far too many aspects to this. I will start with exploring MSV's idea of punctuating melodies. Other aspects will be taken up as we go along. Please do pass on your feedback.

Article start.....

For sure, attempts at imbibing the works of MSV and disseminating the information is a daunting task. Consider the sheer enormity of his body of work, the varied structures, “goose bumps” inducing phrasings, the generous streaks of stupefying and overwhelming creative excellence, et all we could fill volumes of legal pads only with adjectives and yet remain unfulfilled with respect to encompassing his creative width and range.

This article is all about taking a stab at just one facet of this wonder of a composer….some features and repeating…..only SOME features of his melody, namely how MSV deals with completing melodies. These for some unknown reason seem to be most comfortable emanating only through him.

“Hello my dear wrong number”….well, MSV hit the “right number” with this song. Why the “right” number ? Lets look at the lyric that was thrust in front of MSV for the tune to “happen” :
kEtkavE unthan kural sorgam,
nErilE pArthhAl enna vetkam,
karpanai OrAyiram
oru muRai pArthhAl enna ?

In the first place, a Dharmavathi laden tune for such a situation is jaw-dropping stuff, what about the lightning birka around the word “enna” ? Lets applaud..firstly for MSV having implemented this idea, the idea of punctuating the melody in a most innovative and endearing way. Did this happen because MSV kept his composing psyche open and devoid of pre-determined techniques (as always) ? Maybe so. Kudos to KJ Yesudas for pulling it off as MSV wanted it. As we remain engulfed in the beauteous melody punctuation, the melody beckons from our memories once more, what about the gentle sway and stretch at the word “nErilE” and a not so overt push at “OrAyiram”. Was it to indicate the longing and then, the enormity of karpanai respectively ? karpanaikku (ennum vArthhaikkum) isai thanthu, kAl salangai ittu AdachheibavarAchhE ivar. The answer has to be in the affirmative as while tuning for pre-written lyrics, MSV experiences the happy marriage between words and music at its most subtle paradigm and simply expresses it , but most deliciously. So much so that the tune remains for eternity with the listener but not always, the words.

There have been so many instances of new birkas and sangathis making fresh forays into the film music world (or may I say music world?) and often used to punctuate, reconcile and negotiate melodies. Be it, a MGR muzhakkam song, a Sivaji Ganesan reflective number, a cabaret number, a rustic folksy number , or simply a romantic “tree loving” duet number.

Let’s take the case of the hero allowing the presence of his lady love to sink in and then showering her with encomiums. ‘pAvAdai thAvaNiyil pArthha uruvamA’…..poovAdai veesi vara poothha isaiyO ? A two-liner pallavi that had to be closed out in the second line. ‘poothha paruvamA !!?!!’ The gentle shake at the word ‘paruvamA’ serves as the stylishly elegant melody punctuation. This renders a kind of a personality to the entire song, the flow of the entire song seems to be veering towards the ‘shake’, even at the charanams. The song is eventually a story of multiple exciting paths a tune takes to find its musical nirvana in the intelligently placed, melody character inducing punctuation, the ‘shake’, for want of a better term.

“Vasanthathil Or nAL” is one of the most romantically festive numbers to have “made it”. Sangathis and variations strewn all over the song (but wait, we are discussing other “melodic” features) , festive ornamentation, except that there is a minor pause at the charanams. Why ? The reason is, preceding the pause, there is a sangathi that glistens, glitters when the word “Devi” is put through. P Susheela’s delectable flourish expressing MSV’s sense of placement. The song has already started re-routing itself back to the Pallavi at the end of the sparkling sangathi. This almost served as a “full stop” to the charanam but MSV decided to use it as a conduit, as a comma as the tune glides towards “kAvalil nindrinthArO” line. Yet another case of a tasteful melodic punctuation !!!

“Nejirukkum varai” intha pAdal ninaivirukkum. The movie itself had song classics permeating all through, but the song taken up for discussion is probably the least known of the lot. But one of my hot favorites. The pallavi arrives with an announcement through P Susheela’s lucid vocals ‘kaNNan varum nEramithu’. The tune itself would have conveyed so Smile ‘kannithhEn Radhai nAn senkaniyAga mAruvEn’, the tune curves at the end giving us the feel that Radha is actually musing over her longing for Krishna. You know, stepping back and looking at the ‘process’ with amusement.
This is a Kalyani based number with characteristic MSV ‘throws’ and musical “jabs” Smile

muthham koNda kannam, the expression of yearning has started, mOgam koNda nenjam, the action justified, innum innum ennai (please correct this line if the words are incorrect), thollai seiyya vENdum yearning colored with pleading and finally idaiyOdu viLaiyAda varuvAi kaNNA….longing taking the form of an unabated scream from the heart, though not a scream musically speaking. The intensity has increased in steps as noted above . The melody conveys all that till climax happens, at the word ‘kaNNA’ as a rip-roaring agAram shakes up the listener at the same time setting him to rest ‘ Yes, the world is alright, that was only a punctuation’ !!!! A veritable lavish depiction of tuneful expressiveness….all as usual, aesthetically embellished.

Please note that the intention has been to stick to certain aspects of “MSV’s melody completing” skills only. But run the tune in your minds, live with them for a few minutes, you would experience the same temptation as I did, to make little forays into other deparments as well. But only little forays Smile

Our exercise of grappling with the “Melody completion skills” is not complete yet. To be continued….
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S.Balaji
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Joined: 10 Jan 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2008 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Appa......finally I got a full fledged article from you Very Happy but that " Thodarum " makes me yearn yet again. I must admit , your way of analyzing a song especially of MSV's creation is unique as you go bit by bit , even word ! Vasanthathil oru naal , Hello my dear ...indeed r unique . I remember the craze that followed for the song when the movie was released . Talk of Chennai maanagaram then.
Kannan varum ....can I have the link ?

Hello my dear ....Vow...that mridangam flow fm ...Ketkave undhan kural ...why he started fm there ? only MSv can reveal !
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msvramki
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2008 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Vatsan,

Fabulous posting on the Ocean-like-topic and a great start with a bang !!

While you have narrated the punctuations of MSV's melodies, I was
enjoying your punctuations in your entire write up. I could see a
melody in it too !

The more I read the more I am getting tempted to listen to these numbers and 'feel' your punctuations there !

Look forward to your further writings, atleast thrice a week, if not once a day !!

Regards
Ramki

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S.Balaji
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2008 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SL

Sugest can you take up a particular song and do threadbare analysis ?
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Vatsan
The Fervent


Joined: 20 Jan 2007
Posts: 352

PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2008 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply Reply with quote

Ramki and Balaji, thanks for your feedback.
Balaji...SRS, Ramki and Vaithy have asked me to do this. I will do as you please in the interim for sure Smile
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vaidymsv
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2008 5:32 pm    Post subject: WHAT A WAY TO BEGIN VATSAN! Reply with quote

Dear Vatsan,

Great start with your unique ways of paying all your reverences to MSV's composing Prowess. The songs that you have mentioned....Hello My Dear, Vasanthathil Ore Naal.... Remember the other day we were singing all these and we enjoyed every second of that meeting. The only sad thing is the time when we have to split and go home....... (Who found this home Sad ) MSV moments..... Moments that you never want to get out from! Vatsan, please enlighten us with more. I am really amazed at your information on just one favourite topic of both of us (I am sure for many also).... The sangathis of MSV. I'll tell you no one in the World has the capability to expand at the length & breadth (at His will of course) like what MSV has done. Truely an outstanding Creator to be in the midst of all us and we are soooooooooooooooo lucky to be listening to all his immortals. Thank you Vatsan for a melodious start.

CHEERS
MSV IS MUSIC
VAIDY

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Ram
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Joined: 23 Oct 2006
Posts: 1160

PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2008 6:26 pm    Post subject: Great Topic Reply with quote

Dear Vatsan..

This is a very special topic, especially for the compositions of the Greatest MSV !!!

With your write-up you made each of us like characters in the movie "Honey - I Shrunk the Kids" and took us for a ride in the petals of a beautiful flower called "Melody in MSV's Compo".

We are enjoying the ride more than any roller-coster would have given us!

Would love to travel with you on more flowers !!! Very Happy

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ragasuda
Specialist


Joined: 17 May 2007
Posts: 1532

PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2008 7:08 pm    Post subject: Vatsan's column Reply with quote

Dear Vatsan,
You have played the correct note. This kind of analysis is the one which is needed to read Mellisai Mannar's compositions. More so, this introduces one to the minute details of karnatic music in Mellisai Mannar's compositions.
Dear Ram,
WHY NOT ALLOT A SEPARATE THREAD FOR VATSAN TO ANALYSE SONGS INDIVIDUALLY? AND A SEPARATE THREAD FOR PROFESSOR TO ANALYSE MOVIES?
Raghavendran.
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madhuraman
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2008 7:43 pm    Post subject: Articles and writings - Reply with quote

Dear Mr.Vatsan,
Your current write-up triggers my nostalgia to my student days when I came across a fantastic encomium to a pair of botanists of 2 different levels of learning. What now matters is the statement that reads
'WORTHY STUDENT OF A WORTHY MASTER"
that precisely fits my appreciation of your study of MSV.

MSV often refers to matter and meter; but what he tries to fetter as meter is often a meteor ; it rises up in no time and escapes leaving us in bliss of delight and ignorance too. The verbal command that you manage over your expressions in analysing a phrase or place leaves the same awe that MSV creates from his wizardy of orchestration that includes the voice management as well.
I am just bereft of expressions that reveal my inner self that loves your style of writing. May God bless you.

A word of caution [selfish of course]. Please, also keep your intricacies of analyses for the book that is being planned. What I mean is your writing style should come as a pleasant jolt to the reader. So, your postings and those for the book -- let them be separate to keep the right tempo every where.
Excellent go ahead.
Warm regards Prof.K.Raman Madurai.
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baroque
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am smitten by kaaththirundha kangale... P.B.Sreenivos & P.S forever!
I can't get enough of the enchantment in the line kan irandil vennila.... -the second time P.B.S singing!

Beautiful topic, SL!

Very excited about your article! (just scanned, will go over the details you highlight over this weekend.. will be very familiar).


This evening I was listening to Yamuna nadhi....Gouravam... susheela romances Lover boy & Radha kadhal varadha...Naan avanillai
the compositions packed with kutti kutti improvisations & enunciations forever I am a slave!

Last week I was running around with enna solla enna solla....L.R.E & Balu!
the second time tune variation in enna sugam enna suvai... , Naan koduththa muththiraikku nanri sol
nandriyenna ennaiye kondu sel ... arrest your manasu forever!


looking forward to your future posts..

KaathirupEn mannavaa........... Smile

Vinatha.
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Vatsan
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Joined: 20 Jan 2007
Posts: 352

PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 3:03 pm    Post subject: reply.... Reply with quote

Readers, thanks for the overwhelming response. Honestly, very kind of you all to have received the way you did, a simple set of observations, simply elaborated. I am posting the sequel to the first write-up. Will continue to do so in short spurts as not often do I get to choose beauty (Music) over duty. Just right now, duty beckons and therefore, only a short write-up....

Part – 2 :

There was a mention of the lyricist Vali during the forumers’ meet and his idea of MSV’s prowess. I am sure Vali would be able to recall his first ‘interview’ session with MSV. ‘idayathhil nee’, ‘poovarayum poongodiyE’ caused a reversal in Vali’s fortunes as admitted by the poet / lyricist himself. MSV-kku pAmAlai pAdum santharppathhai Vali vittukkodukka villai. ‘Now that I have tuned your pallavi, you will need to write for my tune for charanams’, MSV is said to have told Vali. The fact that Vali’s pallavi had several tune offerings from MSV and the one we all are used to listening to, was the tune finalized upon, by MSV himself is another story. Lo! The tune for the charanams flowed out. ‘vadivangaL marainthu vidum vaNNangaL marayAthE’…sounds very poetic but a MSV aficionado like your’s truly would vouch for its inaccuracy as far as MSV’s melodies go, the body of the tune is as alluring as much as the coloration of the melody is intoxicating. The above words , fitted into the last line of the tune of the charanam, was punctuated with jagged edges starting with the word ‘vaNNangaL.’ The utility of such a characteristic imparted to the tune becomes evident when you hum the tune without it !!! A dainty little stroke that goes far.

“neela nayanangaLil” is yet another wonderous creation that was awarded to Tamil Film Music. The big picture, i.e. the listening pleasure for sure is there as first of all the wonderful tune is well orchestrated with combo organ counter-melodies, a double-sitar (one playing seconds for the other) spread out over congo and tumba beats and so on. But on repeated humming, when our intimacy with the tune increases, what shows up is a plethora of melodic forms, one out-rivaling the other. How each of those musical forms contributed to the big “pleasure” picture is yet another set of musical insights that sink in. A drag, a pull, a curve, a swirl at various parts of the tune as in…..the phrasing at ‘oru neenda kanavu vanthathu’ a wee bit staggered and stretched for “neenda” and an elegant sustained ascent at ‘vadivangaLil’ and ofcourse, once again the staggered ending. ‘pachhai kaN vaithha mANikka mAlai’ …the tuneful phrasing would have done a mANikka mAlai proud for the way it undulates and rests soulfully around our hearts as the mAlai does around necks. We have taken a detour from the main topic as MSV’s tune does but the phrasing at “manmadhan endroru maayavan thOndrida” with the “jagged” ornamentation calls for special attention. A logical end to a musical block, a gentle, winding nudge to the pallavi to start off again, but this time through a dreamy P Susheela and slur of sorts played on the tabla. Before I get tempted into being enticed into MSV’s ‘percussive’ stronghold, I will punctuate discussions on this song Smile. But let’s continue marveling at the panache ridden sway of the creative baton that could conjure up the classy melodic punctuation.

To be Contd…
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madhuraman
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 3:46 pm    Post subject: Articles and writings - Reply with quote

Dear Mr.Vatsan,
Another Holy Grand slam that tributes the attributes of MSV.
Nice, keep firing on all cylinders for the sheer beauty of your articulate writing.
Warm regards Prof.K.Raman Madurai.
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vaidymsv
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 5:24 pm    Post subject: MELODY DEMONSTRATION! Reply with quote

Dear Vatsan,

If MSV could be a trendsetter for Meter Demolition, then you woud fit in for Melody Demostration not with musical instruments but with "keyboard"...... I meant the computer keyboard!!!. When I read thro' this post along with my wife Sanjini, both of us spontaneously broke into singing Neela Nayanangalil and we were just wondering how this is possible for this tiny GIANT called MSV!!!!! Great continuation Vatsan. My suggestions came true (read Ragasuda's reply) Very Happy

Ram, you bet Ram. We have been sailing so smoothly along the melodious path laid down by our Legend. The amount of work done by him has enough of stuff for all our future generations to ponder about & write. Y'day & today as usual MSV stole my day as I kept repeatedly listening to Paaduvor Paadinaal and Ennai Vittal Yarumillai....... Eternal melodies by this Great Man!!!

CHEERS
MSV IS MUSIC
VAIDY

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baroque
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NEELA NAYANA.... Enchanting pick, SL!

Love your write-up!


THAANEY THANKKUL...PERUM PUGAZHUM...YESUDAS SOLO!


maanE enakku puriyaadhaa
magan varappOvathu theriyaadhaa

With little variation in second times...

AZHAGANA PATTU!

kaalam varum varai thaayin vayitRilE
kaalgaL udhaithidum NAADHAM
--------------------VEDHAM
_________________________

kaadhalO aasai thaaimaiye poojai

thanthai naan vaasal annai nee kOyil

I am addicted to those lines that end the charanams!

Those P.B.Sreenivas duets loaded with improvisations,elongations,enunciations & variations of phrases!


kattazhagu thullath thulla
kaadhal kadhai solla solla
pakkam pakkam varuvadhenna sollayyaa
en paarvayile marundhondru illayaa..

L.R.E sings softly with a laid back tune the second time!

ULTIMATE SONG!

sonna mozhi ketirupen
unnazhagai paarthirupen
kann thiranthu kaathirupen
ponnulagam paarthirupen

sonna mozhi ketirupen unnazhagai paarthirupen
kann thiranthu kaathirupen nilavile
ponnulagam paarthirupen uravile ..

Where do I begin with MULLIL ROJAA...KALAIKOIL!

LRE & P.b.S ROCK!!

unnai marandhu vidu
ullam thirandhu vidu
ondraai kalandhu vidu

mullil rOjaa
kalloorum rOjaa
kan padaadha rOjaa
kanmani sarOjaa

PBS: humming

mullil rOjaa
kalloorum rOjaa
kan padaadha rOjaa
kanmani sarOjaa


AESTHETIC HEART!
Now you know why HE is Classical Prowess!


Oru naaliley...Sivantha Mann

Divine Tune!

oru naalilae...ennavaam...uravaanadhae...theriyumae...
kanavaayiram...ninaivaanadhae...
vaa vennilaa...
vaa vennilaa isaiyoaduvaa
mazhai megamae azhagoadu vaa
maharaaniyae madimeedhu vaa
maharaaniyae madimeedhu vaa
vandhaal...anaikkum...silirkkum...thudikkum...

naalai varum naalai ena naanum edhirpaarththaen
kaalam idhu kaalam enak kaadhal mozhi kaettaen
boadhai tharum paarvai enai moadhum alai moadhum (Naan seththutten!)
poadhum enak koorumvarai poovae vilaiyaadu
varum naalellaam idhu poadhumae
varum naalellaam idhu poadhumae

manjam idhu manjam ena maarbil vizhi moodu
konjum idhazh sindhum en nenjil oru koadu
thanjam idhu thanjam enath thazhuvum suvaiyoadu
thanjam idhu thanjam enath thazhuvum suvaiyoadu
minjum sugam yaavum varavendum thunaiyoadu
varum naalellaam idhu poadhumae
varum naalellaam idhu poadhumae

Double the pleasure with SIRITHAAL THANGA PADUMAI.... Kannan En Kaadhalan!

WONDERFUL , SL!

Vinatha!
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msvramki
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Vatsan,

Another sixer, size of the writeup does not matter at all !

Melody dimensions of this WonderCreator in every song are innumerable and the proof is your writing. I have to listen to these songs today positively.

The line "pachchaik kal vaitha maNikka mAlai" - the place where
MSV starts this line and how He ends 'mAlai' - Oh amazing work !

I am keeping this Forum Page open all the time to look for dropping of your writeup in the box anytime !

Pl continue ... for ever ...!

Ramki

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