Saturday, July 12, 2008

Plagiarism - I

Recently, I came across a forum where a hubber had mentioned that ‘Margazhi Poove’ was copied from ‘Suprabhatham’. Was the hubber correct? Further another hubber claimed the bit 1:47 to 1:58 in ‘Sahana’ song from ‘Sivaji’ is copied from some MGR song. The list continues for every composer with no exception. Give me a break.

MGR Song? When did he ever compose or write lyrics for the song? Why do we have to always call Rajini Hits or Vijay Hits and why not Vidyasagar’s Hits or Rahman’s Hits?

Anyways, let us keep the digression aside. I intend to keep a series of posts on what people mean by lift or copy.

Illayaraja never fails to state in his interviews (which are very rare) that all the composers including him simply cheat by recycling (ஏமாற்று வேலை). It is very important to understand what he means by that.

This is an excellent example of a paradox. Is there something ever called “Original Music”? The composer who is most effective and brilliant in creating an illusion so that it doesn’t invoke ‘I-have-previously-heard’ feeling is a successful composer and considered as the one who provides original music.

Do we get 10 new notes (Swaras) added to the original list of 7 Swaras once in every 5 years? Be it 1950 or 2010; Be it Arabic music or Kutcheri; Be it Naushad or Rahman – All of them only get those 7 swaras to play around. Yes, music is nothing but a permutation combination math played with these notes.

So, any set/combination of notes that you play will one-way or other resemble some other piece in this planet. And when people pass a comment that the song is lifted because 10 seconds of the song resembles some other song, I only think we need to understand the fundamentals better.

Having said that, I am not willing to put MSV, Illayaraja, Rahman, Yuvan, Deva, S.A.Rajkumar and Sirpi all in the same bucket. Let’s try to keep it like this. All of the composers do the ‘Yemaatru Velai’. However, they do it at varying degrees.

Watch this space, more to follow.


முருகேஷ் said...

You are right. Resemblances do occur between pieces but we can't say all of them are copies. We should learn to appreciate the difference between 'Copied/lifted music' and 'inspired music'.

I wonder how Raja allowed himself to copy 'Kanavu kaanum' (Movie: Neengal kettavai) song from Hindi. I want to know if there are any other songs Raja copied like this.

Emjay said...

Welcome back, Murugesh.
I have heard in some SPB interview that the established directors then insisted on few songs like the one you mentioned. Others that I know are - "Darling Darling Darling" and "Oru Paadal Naan Kaetaen" (Nooravadhu Naal).

முருகேஷ் said...

Hi Emjay, I was busy with work last 3 weeks. But I somehow read all your posts. The topics are very interesting and informative.

Off-topic, but still want to ask you. What is your opinion on the latest 'Uzhiyin Osai' songs?