I have presented the results of various analysis throughout this blog without going into any details about the analysis methodology. However, this time, (with no intentions of bragging) I will elaborate the analysis method as we will try to drive some analysis conclusions at the end of this section. Knowing how the analysis was performed will be a useful context to relate to the results presented at the end.
- Though Raja’s compositions run to over 4,500, a database of 1.600 songs were considered for this analysis (a 35% sample of the population). The sample set has all the languages set to music by Raja other than Marathi
- The 1,600 songs covered in this analysis span all the 5 decades – 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, 2010s.
- A scan of the 1,600 interludes is done to isolate ‘usual’ and ‘unusual’ conversations
- The focus is more on the ‘unusual’ conversations. Every ‘unusual conversation’ is checked for the rules of C&R, and a segment is isolated and recorded in a spreadsheet. A single interlude can have more than one C&R segment
- For every identified segment, the two instruments involved in the conversation is recorded in the spreadsheet, along with the name of the film and the release year
- The lead column in the spreadsheet is ensured not to be violin, guitar or flute
- A pivot analysis is done on the lead instrument to get a list of unique combinations and those become the 14 categories I plan to present. A sorted list based on the lead instrument is kept for reference in creating the clips
- The collection of data was done over 6 months and the assumption is that the sample database is a close representation of Raja’s output and is good enough for predicting/analyzing trends related to this technique
- Based on the result set, clips are isolated from the songs and assembled for presentation with the appropriate naming convention for easy cataloging
- Analysis conclusions are derived from the analysis spreadsheet to have data support to the conclusions
I hope the analysis helps reset some perspectives about Raja and his use of C&R technique in his music, such as:
- Not everything he has done with this technique revolves around the violin, guitar or flute
- The breadth and depth of use of this technique can be matched by no other composer, even if we consider his ‘unusual’ conversations
- Some of the instrument combinations are ‘unthinkable’ before his time, and few composers have tried these even after he has demonstrated them in his interludes