Illayaraja’s one of the masterly composition is the song “Agayavenillavae” in the film Arangetra Velai.
The melody is wonderfully conceived and well orchestrated. No second thought. But the Rhythm is all the trickier. For sensitive ears, the complex rhythm pattern is perceptible.
Just I want to write about this Rhythmic Pattern for those who are interested in.
Let us first hear this song
The Tabla Pattern throughout the song is as under
|2||1||1||1||1||1||1||= 8 counts in 3rd speed (Equals to 2 beats)|
The song is in Mixed Meter. Mixed Meter refers to the employment of different rhythmic pattern during a piece. The First prelude and the Pallavi are 3/4 (Chatusra Rupakam – Beats 1 2 3) timing and the interludes are in 4/4 (Chatusra Ekam – Beats 1 2 3 4) timing.
First interlude is for 5 bars of 3 beats / bar and the total beats – 15 (Divisible by 3)
Pallavi is for 12 bars of 3 beats / bar and the total beats – 36 (Divisible by 3 as well as 4)
Yes quite interesting. This can be either 3/4 and 4/4 timing. But the 3 beats per bar would match the lyrics quite naturally. Look at the dance step at 0.42 – 0.46 “Uravaadum Vizhigale iru velli meengalaai aada” and start counting 1 2 3. The lyrics will end at 6th beat which clearly suggests that the timing is Chatusra Rupakam 1 2 3 and not Chatusra Ekam 1 2 3 4. (Children and parents with great sense of rhythm can also try 4/4 but the lyrics will not match rhythm).
Interlude 1: For 11 bars of 4 beats/bar and the total beats – 44 (Divisible only by 4)
Charanam 1: 20 bars of 3 beats / bar and the total beats – 60 (Divisible by both 3 and 4)
But as I said earlier, look at the dance sequence at 1.39 -1.40 “Poovaaram Soodikkondu”. It is of 3/4 timing 1 2 3.
Interlude 2: For 10 bars of 4 beats/bar and the total beats are – 40 bars (Divisible only by 4)
Charanam 2: Same as that of Charanam 1
The Tabla pattern is of 2 beats and it can fit into entire song as all the beats mentioned earlier is divisible by 2. This makes the song unique and indicates the genius of Illayaraja.
See you next week!! If the readers want the video explanation I am ready to do it.
Answer for Last week’s Quiz: il Prete Rosso means “The Red Priest”. This is because of Vivaldi’s Red Hair.
Quiz for this week: Which is the song of Illyaraja that employs only the ascending of a raga?
‘Bale’ Sampat, a Chartered Accountant and a Carnatic Musician, lives in Chennai and teaches Piano.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Mobile: 9884412230
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