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Use of Hindusthani raaga by MSV

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raghavan vasudevan

Joined: 03 Jan 2007
Posts: 65
Location: Chennai

PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2009 6:28 pm    Post subject: Use of Hindusthani raaga by MSV Reply with quote

Dear Members,

My relative a great fan of MSV has a blog and its id is:


In his latest blog he has discussed certain songs which the great MSV
has composed based on Hindusthani raaga. I request fans to visit this site and read the write up and can post their comments.

Persons who have good knowledge of carnatic/hindusthani music would find the write up very interesting.

Use of carnatic raaga or music in film songs is nothing new. Many coposers have done this but use of hindusthani raaga in tamil film songs are rare. MSV has used several raaga because he is MSV and there can never be another composer like him.

In Cricket there is only one greatest batsman of all times that is SIR DONALD BRADMAN. Similarly in Tamil film music, it is MSV only who is unmatched and unconquerable. Sun never sets in British Empire was the saying once upon a time. Likewise no one is yet to born and probably no one will born to match the greatness and can reach the level of M.S.Viswanathan.
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The Fervent

Joined: 20 Jan 2007
Posts: 352

PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 5:08 pm    Post subject: Surprise Reply with quote

Thanks for the link. Went through the article and it was very informative. But one must refrain from concluding on the "knowledge" part of music with respect to MSV. As I see it, knowledge is very different from gnanam. Composing Gnanam indicates a "natural" presence of all faculties required for composing such as precision of placement of notes and their sustenance and .......most importantly, a natural ability to integrate into the already blossoming faculties, what pours in through the senses... be it a beautiful scenery, a genre of music (in this case Hindustani) or simply somebody else's compositions. This ability to integrate seamlessly and allowing the digested information to surface naturally when it is required, is the awesome talent MSV has been blessed with. For instance, the charanams of "thuLLuvathO iLamai" have a distinct Persian aura but completely replete with MSV brand sangathis. Such a symbiosis happened because the composer did not consciously intend to put his exposure to Persian music to use. The automatic regulatory system pushed this forth to the surface and therefore it "happened". Such is the case with MSV's Hindustani slant. More than knowledge, it is question of the Hidustani feel being throughly digested by MSV. And what a phenomenon it has been.......the greatest revelation to me in this article was this observation on "Malgunji" which is a mix of Bagesri and Ragesri. Wow !!! But MSV has surprises galore, this Malgunji mix was put to use in "manaivi amaivathellAm" and the song does not sound like "it" Smile Some people mistook it for Bahaduri or Bahudari...well whatever it is. Was this man blessed with the mechanism to imbibe Hindustani feel like none else or what ?!!!? Every piece of every interlude / prelude that has had the Hindustani slant to it has been absolutely soul stunning and caressing at the same time !!! Every piece of Hindustani melody unleashed has been just that, again !!! And how delicious they are all !!!! MSV the mystery man...... an enigma that never ever spoke about Hindustani music to any one of us ever, but kept ranting on about how Carnatic music was universally popular.
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Joined: 23 Oct 2006
Posts: 1160

PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the link Raghavan Sir!

When I heard the very first song in that blog (from esnips) - a Megh Malhar aalaap, the next second I was able to recognize the song - "MuthukaLo KaNgaL".

What a melody maker this MSV & what a way he brings out a Raag !!! Am Awestuck !!

Vatsan, as ever a fitting post from you. Yes, you made clear the subtle difference between "Knowledge & Gnanam".

Quoting your own words: "Music happens for MSV!"

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Joined: 16 Nov 2008
Posts: 920
Location: CHENNAI

PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Raghavan

I also read with great interest. As you had mentioned that the raga happened to be there in his composition. But knowing very rare ragas
from your post was an eye opener.

Dear Vatsan and Ram,

As you know for the past 25 years I had been trying to get in to the same freqency line as that of MSV when he composed songs. The song 'Kangal Enge' which I thought as 'Sudh Danyaasi' has a phrase which invlives sadhustra daivatham (da2) at the place 'sinam konda madha yaanai udal knodu nadandan'. So in strict raga sense the raga 'sudha danyaasi' doest not stand.

Same way if you see the song 'Maalai Pozhudin mayakkathile' which is set in the raga 'Chandragouns' again there would be usage of a swaram 'ri2' comes in the place 'Vazhi marandheno' which deviates from the way of the raga. The varation aptly suits the line 'vazhi marandheno' ( the ragamum vazhi marandhadho).

The fundamental question that goes in mind is why did MSV adopted that method. He may not be able to answer. The standard answer from him would be that it just happened. But one thing is sure as to what ever that has happened has appealed to him before it reached us. In that sense one must appreciate about his ability to judge and pick the best. So the result is the variation which he did may go oput the raga rule. But I think he cared more for the apt melody that restricting himseld to the raga. In that sense the songs like 'Muthukalo Kangal' could have been composed. But I fully suppost that if that melody meets the requirement of a raga then we need to discuss that. But we need to keep in my mind that his fundamentals are music that appeals to him and his confidence that it will appeal to us also.

In this connection I can share one of my own experiance about the same situation I was when I composed my first album 'Krishnaarpanam'. I composed a song which was to be the last song in that album. It had lyrics which had the words 'krishnaarpanam'. So I decided that it had to be the last song and it had to be in the raga 'Madyamaavadhi'. While I was conceiving the aalaapana of the raga 'madyamaavadhi' it some how happened and the the aalapana phrase happened which involved the swara 'pradhi madhyamam' aparth from the regular swarams that is in the raga madhyamaavadhi. That musical phrasing appealed to me. But now there is confusion for me. That was whether I must restrict myself in to the raga 'Madyamaavadhi' which I decided for a reason or should I keep my new idea which flashed to me which was novel and appealed to me. I decided to go for the new idea.

The reason I am quoating here is to show how his mind could have worked during that time and as we all know him very well he would opt for a musical phrase which should appeal rather that meeting the tradtion. This one of the great aspect which made MSV looking completely different from other composers.


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Venugopalan Soundararajan

Joined: 12 Dec 2006
Posts: 533
Location: Mumbai

PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 7:26 pm    Post subject: MSV's "Deiveega Isai". Reply with quote

Thanks to Mr Raghavan and all others for the interesting inputs. I totally agree with Mr Vatsan's comments - "But one must refrain from concluding on the "knowledge" part of music with respect to MSV. As I see it, knowledge is very different from gnanam".

You are absolutely correct Mr Vatsan. One can learn every thing by gaining knowledge or experience, except Music. You can learn Direction, you can learn Photography, you can learn Editing, you can learn to Act, you can learn to Sing, you can gain knowledge by studying to pen lyrics and so on.... But you can never compose music by learning and gaining experience. It needs some thing "special" and "exceptional". We have seen some composers who were great in carnatic music, but failed miserably when it came to light music.

Composing good music is a God given gift and I feel composing music of MSV's quality is God's own work, in the form of MSV.

Long Live MSV and His mesmerizing "Mellisai".


Venu Soundar
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