Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Male western choir singing - Yellow and Orange tulips

Raja has used them selectively in his compositions. He has used male choirs regularly in his compositions. I will provide a few top of mind examples. The definition of what constitutes western choir is a bit loose. All that can be said is that they sing notes without any microtones (ghamakams). This must not be confused with harmony singing. We will cover harmony singing on a separate section. 

Alla Un Aanai from Chandralekha (Tamil 1995). This song has some cool mixed choir between Sanskrit chants and some mosque sounds. Observe the first interlude – very creative male western choir. 

Let's hear the innovative arrangement in Alla Un Aanai...

Das Das Chinappa Das from Kadalora Kavidhaigal (Tamil 1986) The song has the choir singing along with Raja in vocal harmony mode (more on that later). The song has some female choir before the main song begins. The entire song is executed as a vocal harmony between Raja and the male choir. The first interlude has some nice female choir. The first charanam has the same female choir humming some bars. 

Chinnathambi Chinnathambi from Pooncholai (Tamil 1997). This is a rare song of Raja where nobody expects any western male choir by a long shot. After the pallavi, there is a long humming followed by some nice male choir. In the charanam, the chorus sings the last two bars conventional way. The second and third pallavi has some neat vocal harmony (more on vocal harmony later) followed by western male choir. 

Let's hear the unique arrangement of Chinnathmbi Chinnathambi...

Devanin Kovil Moodiya Neram from Aruvadai Naal (Tamil 1986) This song’s prelude is executed very similar to the ‘Dhaas Dhaas’ track, with the male choir and Raja. 

Devathai Ilam Devi from Ayiram nilave vaa (Tamil 1983). This is the Tamil version of Kelade Nemagaaga from Geetha (1980). The vocal parts of SPB and the choir is missing in the Tamil version. This is pretty much a watered down version.

Sundari Neeyum from Dhalapathy – 1st interlude (Tamil 1991). The first interlude has some nice horns and great male choir on one channel and female choir on the other with grand violins in the background. 

Unnai Thedi Vennila from En Mana Vaanil (Tamil 2002) – the prelude has male choir in scat mode and the song has a lot of female choir support. The first interlude has some nice scat parts too. The charanams and the pallavi have some nice female choir singing in between the main singer’s lines. The second interlude has some more scat parts too. The last pallavi has some nice vocal harmony as the icing on the cake. 

Let's hear Unnai Thedi...


Aakarsh said...

Very good examples Ravi. Particularly impressed with the last example because it is a neglected song.

Also, Telugu film Geetanjali had "Nandi Konda Vaagullona" - which has some male choir elements, rendered spookily and also in the interludes of "Oh Priya Priya".

Then there are songs which only have choir-like effect, although there could be only 1 singer, singing different things, all recorded one above other. Like the prelude of "Aaveshamanta" song from Aalapana. Raaja has experimented a lot in this particular fashion. Probably you need to give another colour to these niche experiments!

ravinat said...


There are several things that Raja has done with voices and using the versatility of singers such as SPB or SJ, he has done quite a lot of innovation. I would particularly recall the song 'Edhalolaya' sang by SJ, where Raja uses different flutes and Janaki's voice in a unique C&R format. However, they do not qualify as choir.

As I started researching his work on choir, I started with 10 categories, only to end up with 25. As I mentioned in my intro post, everything that does not fall into these 25 categories, goes into the "catch all" category 26!

You can never conclude your analysis otherwise!

Anonymous said...

one more song of full male chorus 'oh oru thendral from puthumai pen