Saarangi in Tamil Music

5 Dec

Saarangi is considered to be the musical instrument which is closest to the human voice. It is quite challenging to play and like every instrument it has a very unique signature sound of its own. Many composers in Tamil music have used Saarangi to great effect. Ilaiyaraja used it as early as in Kaadhal Oviyam (used to fantastic effect in Naadhan Enn Jeevane) and I would say Rahman brought back its usage in many movies during the early 90’s and it again became popular with many composers. Below is an incomplete list of songs with wonderful Saarangi interludes categorized per composer:


  • Naadham En Jeevane (from Kadhal Oviyam), a masterpiece tune with Hindustani-styled Saarangi interludes
  • Oru Pattam Poochi (from Kadhalukku Mariyadhai), again a magical first interlude which is very unique as its played very fast with counterpoints supported ably by the flute
  • Poongaatre (from Friends), the usage of Saarangi amplifies the effect of Chakravaaham raaga used here


  • Kappal Yeri Poyachu/Pachai Kiligal (from Indian)
  • Aayirathil Naan Oruvan (from Iruvar, starts with a nice Saarangi, played by the legendary Sultan Khan)
  • Snehidhane (from Alaipayuthey), my favourite use of Saarangi from ARR


  • Engengay (from Nerukku Ner), starts with Saarangi
  • Sivappu Lolaaku (from Kadhal Kottai), this is a Rajasthani-styled folk song with Saarangi

Other miscellaneous songs with Saarangi usage include:

  • SABESH MURALI: Oru Muraidhaan (from Thavamai Thavamirundhu)
  • HARRIS JAYARAJ: Edho Onru (from Laysa Laysa), brilliant Saarangi usage, a wonderful song too
  • YUVAN: Oru Devathai (from Vaamanan), one of Yuvan’s best songs with fantastic Saarangi pieces, Roopkumar Rathod just aces the songs
  • IMMAN: Marhaba (from Saravanan Irukka Bayamen), a Hindustani-styled song composed in Hindolam with nice Saarangi, suits the song very well
  • ANIRUDH: Neeyum Naanum (from Naanum Rowdydhaan), very innovative use of Saarangi with Piano in a slow, mellow tune

One Response to “Saarangi in Tamil Music”

  1. Bala July 30, 2018 at 7:20 am #

    Yuvan had composed a saarangi based theme in the film called ‘Yogi’. It was one of the best saarangi based compositions I’ve heard. Sad that was not even mentioned here. Do listen.

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