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Monday, Sep 27, 2021
Outlook.com

Jnana To Gana

Consistent eclecticism has kept Tamil film music virile

Jnana To Gana
Jnana To Gana
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
When the first Tamil film, Kalidas, opened in Madras at Kinema Central, in October 1931, and the heroine T.P. Rajalakshmi sang on the screen, few in that rapt audience would have realised that they were witnessing the birth of a cultural colossus-Tamil film music.

All the song-laden Tamil films of the initial years were celluloid versions of plays of the popular drama companies. The filmmakers thus tapped a powerful musical tradition-the company drama repertoire. These plays had evolved into a theatre of song and music, a kind of an opera, with minimal spoken words and action. Into the drama music, based primarily on Carnatic style, had been introduced a form of the Hindustani idiom appropriated from Marathi company dramas that had toured the presidency. Folk songs were also featured, and within a decade it began absorbing western music as well.

The cinema industry expanded after sound studios were set up in Madras in 1934. The prospect of steady...
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