Technical Celebration of Music - Part V
Om Namaha (Telugu)
Scale : Hamsanadham
February 12, 2003
is the fifth in the series of articles celebrating the music of
Maestro Ilayaraja, from a technical standpoint. The article treats
the Maestro's music as a textbook on music composition and presents
certain technical and non-technical nuances in his music that
may be of interest to students of music composition and orchestration
as well as to listeners with a technical background in carnatic
and western classical music.
content presented in this article is just an observation made
by the author. Please feel free to indicate any analytical errors
that you may find.
is a wonderful semi-classical melody for a romantic song situation.
This song plays the role of explaining the fact that real love
is a feeling that blossoms from the bottom of one's heart and
that it cannot be expressed in words. The composer has brought
out this fact through this song and has showed how music could
be used to evoke the feelings of love, romance and emotion.
is a pentatonic and symmetrical scale ( s r2 m2 p ni3/ C D F#
G B). The composer has used a range between the lower pa and the
higher ri (approx. alto and soprano), in composing this song (the
pallavi and charanam).
song takes off at the middle sa and presents soul stirring phrases
in Hamsanadham. The most touching phrases in the song are the
slide from ni to pa (that sounds like sa ni sa ni pa) and the
slide from ma to ri (that sounds like pa ma pa ma ri).These slides
occur at several places in the song (the pallavi begins with this
slide) and is typically found in classical compositions in Hamsanadham..
how a single melody has been turned into a whole pallavi in this
song. A melody is sung with middle sa as tonic and then repeated
twice with pa as tonic (a perfect 5th above) and then repeated
once again with middle sa as tonic. A beautiful slide from ni
to pa. (ni ni ri ni ni pa) clubs these melody lines.
usage of unstable landing notes (D) and unexpected accidental
(G flat) mark the image of the composer.
this song, the last note of the charanam and the first note of
the pallavi are the same (middle sa). This causes an overlap of
two notes (essentially same note). This is clearly noticed at
the end of the second charanam. A related feature is that the
pallavi of the song stops with the first note (sa..lyricised as
Om), immediately after the first charanam and the second interlude
takes off. In brief the composer demonstrates how creative features
should be added to a song to make it sound distinct from others
and to hold the attention of the listeners.
song has a constant rhythm pattern on the percussions symbolizing
the human heart beat, in its backdrop. This must have been obvious
to the composer in order to match the song situation.
first interlude starts with a beautiful tremolo on a santoor like
instrument, which is further used to harmonize the strings. Ilayaraja's
command (and trademark!) in writing bass lines is obvious in this
song. The interludes have simple melodies on strings and flute,
excellently harmonized with bass lines and chord progressions.
Thanks to Maestro Ilayaraja for giving us yet another song to
here to go to Maestro Ilayaraja's mainpage