ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Entertainment and Media»
  • Music

Maestro Ilayaraja - Great Composer of Tamil Nadu

Updated on October 25, 2014

A Musical Genius in Tamil Film Industry

Ilayaraja a famous musician come singer from Tamil Nadu. 'Raja', as he is commonly known and lovingly called, comes from a family of musicians.

He has composed more than 850 albums in Indian film industry right through his career of more than 25 years. 'Raja', as he is commonly known and lovingly called, comes from a family of musicians.

He is also known as 'Isaingyani' which means a 'Musical Genius' in Tamil Film Industry. He was from a rural family and background. He achieved the highest position in the musical world of Tamil Nadu.

Photo courtesy: Photobucket

Who Is Ilayaraja?

Source


Ilayaraja was born on June 2, 1943 in a countryside family. Born and brought up in a little known village 'Pannaipuram' near Kambam in South part of Tamil Nadu. Ilayaraja's mother, a huge storehouse of Tamil folk songs, seems to be a very strong inspiration in his music.

He was exposed to a span of Tamil folk music. At first he learned to play the harmonium, the typical musical instrument used in street performances. At the age of 14, he joined in a travelling musical group headed by his stepbrother Pavalar Varadarajan, and spent the next decade performing throughout Southern part of India.

Raja picked up most of his intelligence for audience tastes during this period. Raja didn't have good education but after an acknowledgment in Tamil cinema industry he did 'Classical Guitar' course in Trinity College of Music, London. He got a gold medal in this course.

In his first movie he fused Tamil Film Music and Tamil Folk Music. He was one who first to do that attempt and got succeeded. He got National Best Film Music Composer awards and bagged many awards in regional level. His music was of great individuality as he combined Western and Indian instruments.

Om Sivogam - Ilayaraja's Latest Hit.

Don't forget to vote

Did you enjoy 'Nothing but Wind'? How was it?

See results

His Cinema Career

In the year 1969, Ilayaraja shifted to Chennai, the South Indian Cinema capital. He was 29 years old, looking for a break into film industry. Here he studied playing the guitar and piano in the Western style under Dhanraj Master. Ilayaraja's break into film music came with the famous movie 'Annakili '(1976).

This film was a village story, in which Ilayaraja composed impressive folk melodies. The songs bid simplicity and musicality mainstream of Tamil folk music in a realistic way, and they presented new sounds, rich orchestration typical of Western music.

The songs became hit; the most admired one was the song "Machchana Partheengala" sung by a female singer, S. Janaki. This was keeps on by a series of movies that exposed existing Tamil villages in an accurate way.

For all of these movies Raja composed remarkable songs. Most well-liked songs were "Senthoorappove" and "Aatukkutti Mutaiyittu" from the film 'Pathinaru Vayathinile' (1977).

Ilayaraja's Sensational Hits

His Symphony

He composed 'Thiruvasagam', which is an old Tamil Spiritual Literature, in his symphony for Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO). Ilayaraja composed his symphony with a high-profile squad of musicians and sound engineers and they are from Budapest Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Laszlo kovacs and Oscar winning Lyricist Stephen Schwartz along with five time Grammy-award winner for sound engineer, Richard King.

He did this symphony principally to fascinate younger generations to Tamil Nadu's spiritual traditions. This album was released on June 30, 2005 at the Music Academy in Chennai. The CD of this album was also released in US in the 'Tamizhar Thiruvizha' (Tamil's Festival).

Thiruvasagam - in Rajas Music

Photo courtesy: Photobucket

His Music Style

Ilaiyaraaja was one who used Western classical music harmonies and string arrangements in Indian film music. This let him to craft a rich tapestry of sounds for movies he worked, and his themes. His background score obtained notice and admiration along with Indian film audiences.

This range of expressive options in Indian film music was expanded by Ilayaraja's systematic approach to arranging, recording technique. He is familiar for his ideas drawing techniques from a diversity of musical styles. Ilaiyaraaja has composed Indian film songs that fused elements of genres such as Afro-tribal, acoustic guitar-propelled Western folk, bossa nova, jazz, disco music, pop music, flamenco, funk, Indian classical and rock and roll etc.

According to notable Musicologist P. Greene, Ilaiyaraaja's "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"

Ilayaraja's Speech - Vid

Here is My Guest Book - You can post your opinion here:

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      TanoCalvenoa 4 years ago

      This is very interesting. Thank you for making people worldwide aware of this music, who otherwise might not know about it.

    • VspaBotanicals profile image

      VspaBotanicals 5 years ago

      I loved learning about this musician. Wonderful lens.

    • sukkran trichy profile image
      Author

      sukkran trichy 5 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      @anonymous: yes. he is my fav music director. thanks for stopping by

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Maestro ILAYARAJA is definitely one of the talented musicians, South India ever had.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I have always loved classical Tamil music, it is melodious. Ilayaraja is definitely one of the many talented musicians that this region had.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Shouted on FB

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      "A rich tapestry of sounds" indeed by a musical genius. That 8 minutes of Nothing But Wind went so fast that I had to do it again....a wonderful tribute to Ilayaraja!

    • profile image

      Didge 5 years ago

      I really loved this lens. Also, beautifully presented sukkran.

    • profile image

      Andy-Po 7 years ago

      Great lens. Very interesting

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 7 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      I always love to learn new music and composers. Nice tribute.

    • rewards4life info profile image

      rewards4life info 7 years ago

      I've never heard of Ilayaraja before, his music is beautiful. I love discovering new music there are so many talented people out there, I'm pleased you brought him to my attention. He has had such an amazing career, 850 albums that's unreal. What a great lens on a very talented musician.

    • Jhangora LM profile image

      Jhangora LM 7 years ago

      I havn't heard much of his music, but did like the songs of Dalpati.

    • FanfrelucheHubs profile image

      Nathalie Roy 7 years ago from France (Canadian expat)

      I always love to discover new music and artist. Thanks for the intro!

    • Bus Stop Toy Shop profile image

      Bus Stop Toy Shop 7 years ago

      I'd never come across him before - thanks for a great introduction :)

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)