Tamil cinema has a long and illustrious history, with music having been an integral part of the films since their inception. Music served two functions: it acted as a narrative element by projecting moods or providing points of connection during scenes, and it provided flashy entertainment sequences at climactic moments in many films.
Consider all the times you were watching your favourite Tamil film when something unexpected happened—a song came on that made everything happen right then! We may not realise how much of an impact songs have on our emotions while watching them, but this information should pique your interest because their impact is so significant to us viewers.
People all over the world enjoy watching movies because they provide a brief escape from reality. This is why, when Indian films are translated into English, certain elements, such as songs that play during pivotal moments and musical interludes, are lost in translation.
The use of music in film can be traced back to its strong roots in other performing arts, where it has always been a part of performance-based culture; India’s society offers great variety and richness in this area due to their long history as performers on stage, who would often share melodies between themselves via drumming instruments such as tablai surmaiyaa.
There were more than twenty songs in the early films. Furthermore, the primary source of music was from talented classical or folk musicians. Classical Music blended well with the storey lines of the time, when cinema was still in its infancy. Pianists such as MAL Vasanthakumari and NCS Vasantakokilam appeared in these films while also being trained as full-fledged singers capable of performing both Classical Music and Folk Songs!
TMR Mahalingam, a pianist, is on the list, as is G Varalaksmi, a singer known for her Carnatic Kritis but who also did playback singing. Bhanumathi is a skilled Kathakaarini (one who performs kathas)
The richness of tone and range of performance in these artists was impressive. Even people who had no formal exposure to classical music could appreciate film songs based on classical tunes during those carefree years. The lyrics were also important in popularising the songs. For example, many singers, such as Trichy Lokanathan and A M Raja, were able to sing some very complex melodies with apparent ease despite never having studied how to do so formally! Tunes by MSV or K V Mahadevan had strong classical roots but were tailored for more popular tastes; however, this never diminished their dignity because there is always something about Hindi films that makes them so special no matter what they are made of 🙂
Then there was Ilayaraja. This country genius had a fiery musical sensibility that defied stereotypes. He began as the king of folksy tunes, but quickly expanded his repertoire to include all genres and innovated with classical music elements, ushering in an unprecedented era for Indian film soundtracks that has yet to be matched. After Ilayaraja, there was A.R. Rahman, Vidyasagar, and Bharadwaj. Deva Srikanth is a Tamil actor. Deva Devi Sriprasad and many others- only the first three can mix classical and popular elements into something more than just background noise or artifice without sacrificing too much of their own artistic integrity, which can be attributed largely to intuitiveness.
Right now, there is a lot of young talent in the Indian classical music industry. With so many musicians trained in both cinematic and traditional styles, they’re tearing up the scene with their outstanding performances and versatility!
As more people want to learn about this art form, the number of talented performers who train extensively for singing has increased in recent years. Singers such as Nithyasree Mahadevan, Bombay Jayashree, Sudha Raghunathan, and Madhumita have excelled in both classical music and accompanying films.
The film music industry has a bright future. Classical music adds depth to songs, so composers are embarking on a musical journey in search of their roots. Music has never been more accessible; it gained popularity among listeners as a result of film soundtracks such as “The Shape of Water” and “La La Land.”
Classical themes are thriving in the music industry. Film composers are looking for their roots and finding inspiration in pieces written centuries ago, rather than modern symphonies.