Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Quadruple instrument based imperfect symmetry without bridge

This involves a number of call and response arrangements involving four instruments that have a pattern. It is hard to get perfect reflection symmetry with four instrument choices. Lots of Raja’s interludes do fall under this category where it is hard to identify symmetry and the composer uses a number of C&R arrangements with 4 instrument choices

Let’s first start with the song Andhi Varum Neram from Mundhanai Mudichu (Tamil 1983). The first interlude of this song is based on C&R arrangements involving 4 instruments. There are no bridges and Raja uses Violins, guitar, flute and veena to create the interlude. The pattern of this interlude is as shown below:

Vi-Fl x2
Gu-Vi x4
Gu-Ve x2
Ve-Vi x2

In short form, one can say that the pattern of this arrangement is 2+4+2+2. This is not symmetrical in any way and a possible translation symmetry would look like this:

Vi-Fl x2
Fl-Gu x2
Gu-Ve x2
Ve-Vi x2

You can see that there is only one element that stops this arrangement from being a perfect translation symmetry based arrangement.

Let’s hear the near perfect Andhi Varum Neram…

The second interlude of Maalaiyil Yaaro from Chatriyan (Tamil 1989) is our next track to analyze. Raja uses 4 instruments in atypical C&R arrangement. While a particular instrument combination can be argued as pure harmony, I still think it is a C&R. He uses, Guitar, Sax, Violins and Synthesizer to weave this beautiful melody. The pattern of this interlude is as shown below:

Gu-Sax x3
Vi-Sax x2

In short form, one can say that the pattern of this arrangement is 3+1+2. This is not symmetrical in any way and a possible translation symmetry would look like this:

Gu-Sax x3
Sy-Sax x3
Vi-Sax x3

Though far from perfect translation symmetry, the melody of the arrangement is definitely striking. 

Let’s hear the second interlude of Maalaiyil Yaaro…

The last example in this post would be the second interlude of Madurai Marikozhundu from Enga Ooru Paatukaran (Tamil 1987).  Raja uses four sets of instruments in C&R arrangement in this interlude – Synthesizer, Violins, Flute, and Chorus. The pattern of this interlude is as shown below:

Ch-Vi x4
Ch-Fl x3
Vi-Sy x2

In short form, one can say that the pattern of this arrangement is  1+4+3+2+1. This is not symmetrical in any way . If you leave out the first C&R element, it appears like a simple progression of descending number of C&Rs going from 4 to 1.

Let’s hear the second interlude of Madurai Marikozhundu…

There are a few other songs of Raja, where he has used a four instrument C&R as the interlude of his composition. While most composers do use this technique, it is rare to find a composer who can do the entire interlude with just C&R arrangements, be it with three , four or more instrument combinations.


Kavein Thran said...

hi sir,
I started to follow your blog since last year, and I am also a big fan of ragathevan ragasir. I should say that I love your style of writing very much and your blog design also. Particularly, I really wellcome your change from native flash player to more modern html5 player. As i am blind and I uses screen reader, this change benifited me alot, as flash is not so accessible to the visually impaired comunity.
Here, I've come with some suggestions for your future writing.

1. write more on rajasir's movie bgm orchestrations
2. start writing analysis on rajasir's newwer movies and non-film works, such as how to name it and so on
3. distinguish on the use of synths and midi by rajasir with other music directors
4. write on the inspirationstaken by rajasir from other great composers such as msv, rd, sd, and other western people such as bethoven.
5. this is quite important. as many of tamil-speaking rajasir fan do not ocationally listen to his music other than tamil, I would like to suggest the writing on following:
a. films songs that aare same in tamil and non-tamil language. means, rajasir's same music that are in tamil and other languages, malayalam, hindi, telugu, kanada or maruthi.
b. same songs but with different orchestrations in non-tamil language.
c. rajasir's songs that are only in non-tamil language, means there is no that songs in tamil, but could be listen in hindi, malayalam, telugu, maruthi and kanada.

I should stop here as the list is growing big. thanks very much for your good work on rajasir.

ravinat said...

Hi Kavein

Thanks for your comments and glad to know that the HTML 5 change is helping the visuallyimpaired. Honestly , I was not aware of this ability.

Here are some responses to your comments:

1. Your point taken. My plan is to update the various analysis topics with BGM clippings. It is only lack of time and not intent.
2. I have always covered Raja's work in all the 5 decades and you may find that I covered a lot of his recent work in several topics in 2011 and 2012. As my recent analysis had been with his C&R work , which he does very little of in the past decade, you get the impression that I cover only his earlier work. Please go back to my tips on Techno baroque and polyrhythms and you will see that I have covered a lot of his 21st century work.

3. I have covered his synthesized music extensively in the techno baroque topics. Please revisit these topics.

4. Not sure if I am convinced about writing on Raja's inspirations. It is hard to uncover his inspirations as he tends to comoflauge it with his own interpretation.

5. I have stayed language neutral and have covered all the languages you have mentioned extensively.

Thanks for providing feedback in detail.