Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Quintuple instruments with imperfect symmetry, with and without bridges


Getting to perfect C&R symmetry with four instruments is hard; with five instruments is close to impossible, though it is mathematically possible. One is not guaranteed of any great melody coming out of it. Throwing in musical bridges into this mix makes the analysis impossible. We will focus on tracks where Raja has composed the entire interlude with just C&R arrangement with five instrument combinations. We will not worry about any bridges. The two examples, we will discuss here have no bridges!



The first example is a very popular song, ‘Mannil Indha Kaadhal from Keladi Kanmani ‘ (Tamil 1990). While this song has been popular for other reasons, we will focus on the first interlude of this song.  Raja uses Guitar, synthesizer, violins, flute and bells to create this interlude with all the instruments playing call and response to each other. The pattern of this interlude is as shown below:

Gu-Sy x2
Sy-Gu x6
Vi-Sy x2
Fl-Be
Bel-Fl

In short form, this can be expressed as, 2+6+2+1+1

The interlude lasts 36 seconds and there are 12 C&R arrangements within this short span of time. I have not heard any other composer do this and keep the interlude melodious! 

Let’s hear the C&R densely packed first interlude of Mannil Indha Kaadhal…



The second example is a song that beats the first one in terms of C&R density. This is the densest C&R arrangement I have heard among all composers. Let’s analyze the first interlude of the song ‘Kotti Kidhakudhu from Dhayam Onnu’ (Tamil 1988). Raja uses Guitar, synthesizer, violins, flute and bells to create this interlude with all the instruments playing call and response to each other. The pattern of this interlude is as shown below:

Fl-Sy x2
Gu-Vi x2
Fl-Vi x2
Gu-Fl x2
Vi-Fl x4
Vi-Be-Fl

In short form, this can be expressed as 2+2+2+2+4+1.

Let's hear the densest first interlude of Kotti Kidhakudhu...




The interlude lasts 26 seconds and there are 13 C&R arrangements within this short span of time. Only a Raja interlude can beat another. This is the densest C&R interlude ever I have heard of Raja. No other composer comes close. It is such mastery over the technique that allows Raja to do 13 C&R arrangements in 26 seconds. This is the highest level of mastery in such an arrangement among any composer I have heard.