Raagas in film music: Amruthavarshini

21 Jan

There is no better way to begin enjoying the usage of different raagas in films, than by starting with the nectarine intense raaga Amruthavarshini. The name itself shows how beautiful the raaga is. This raaga has a wonderful anecdote behind it. [I heard this in a raaga series CD called ISAI PAYANAM, which is a series of discussions on different raagas done by Smt.Charulatha Mani, a Carnatic vocalist. It is a wonderful collection to have as it covers most of the major raagas, dwelling on their unique attributes, the major classical compositions in them and their usage in film music.]
Shri Muthuswamy Dikshithar, one of the greatest classical musicians of India, a member of the Trinity was going for his brother’s marriage from Tiruvaiyar. On the way, he was passing thro’ a village called Ettaiyapuram, which was at that time experiencing severe drought. The land was dry and parched and the people were suffering. Overcome by compassion for the villagers, Shri. Dikshithar started singing the masterpiece krithi and praying, “Aanandamruthakarshini Amruthavarshini” to Goddess to bring rain to the village and lo! it started to rain heavily. It poured so much that he had to ask the Goddess to stop the torrential downpour. What a wonderful demonstration of the power of music!
Coming back to film music, these are the famous songs composed in this raaga:

  1. Sivakami Aadavandhaal-Paatum Bhaarathamum-MSV
  2. Thoongaatha Vizhigal-Agni Nakshathram-Ilaiyaraja-The most famous film song in this raaga, a masterpiece traversing the entire swaras in this raaga.
  3. Kaathirundha Malli-Malluvetti Minor-Ilaiyaraja-a fantastic song.
  4. Naandhana-Ninaithaale-Vijay Antony

One thing to note here, is that in some cases, the composers may not be within the raaga throughout the song, there may be minor deviations from the raaga. This is fine as in films, composers can take liberties to make the song sound better.


2 Responses to “Raagas in film music: Amruthavarshini”

  1. Vinith January 22, 2009 at 1:23 am #

    You seem too have a good knowledge in Raagas. Can you tell me the raaga of the following songs, if you can 🙂

    1. Uyiril yedho – Vennila Kabadi Kuzhu
    2. Nenjukkul Peidhidum – Varanamayiram
    3. Mukuntha – Dasa


  2. Prakash Srinivasan January 22, 2009 at 3:57 am #

    Dear Vinith,

    I just have a basic knowledge of raagas and can identify about 50 raagas off-the-cuff, owing to sheer interest. I am going to learn the accurate way of identifying raagas by their swaras, soon. I will get back to you regarding the raagas of these songs 🙂

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