Physics has always thought us that there is no perfect black body in this world. I would extend the same analogy to the music. As I mentioned in my previous post, it is only varying degrees in which the music has been presented in an illusionary way out of the fundamental 7 notes that sounds innovative and different.
Type 1: If you are not able to associate a song with any other song and it is so fresh to our ears, then, the composer has been successful in his work of “Yemaatru Velai”. There are thousands of songs in that category, though they are all derived from saptha swaras.
If they are all derived from saptha swaras, how do they make it sound different? Composers employ several techniques to mask it, intentionally or unintentionally. Some of those techniques include change in rhythm, usage of instruments, acoustics, building layers of music around the melody, lyrical value and finally singer’s rendering.
That is why I think it is possible for many of us to come up with a tune; rather it takes someone knowledgeable to ornament the tune with sensible orchestration.
For all practical purposes, let us call these songs as “Original”, though we understand in spirit that they are all recycled from 7 swaras.
Type 2: If the composer has done some good homework to take a baseline song and apply some algorithm to it to transform in such a way that only a few people can figure out the magic, then, I would put that song in to this Type 2 category.
Need an example?
Kamal Hassan is a very tough customer. He apparently was not satisfied with various tunes that Illayaraja came up with for a song in “Apoorva Sagodharargal” and finally he gave a baseline song –
Aval Oruthiyay Thaan
Nalla Azhagi Enbaen
Nalla Azhagi Enbaen
The composer took this song as baseline and used the same “Sandham”, but transformed the tune to come up with-
Nalla Mana Magal Than
Vandha Neram Ada
To mask the origin, composer has beautifully poured and applied “Babbabare Babbabare” all over the song. Also, he has beautifully mixed the voice of Shailaja in this song. All these have created enough illusion to the listener’s ears that we ended up applauding the song.
Sometimes, the composer is so inspired by his other number and he comes up with a varied version of it. Eg: "Anbendra Mazhaiyile" from "Minsaara Kanavu" was later transformed to "Dheemthanana Dheemthanana" in "Rhythm".
One other example is transformation of "Putham Puthu Poo Poothatho" from Dalapathi to "Piraye Piraye" in Pithamagan.
There are many such songs in this category. In my humble opinion, it still takes someone to have good acumen and brilliance to give some good Type 2 numbers.
Type 3: Many incompetent composers produce this category of songs. Less homework done, either changed the tempo of the song or made the same tune with a different rhythm or made to look different by making it sung by a nasal singer!
Example? Thanks to Ramesh. He wrote a nice post that would exactly reflect this Type 3 category (http://rameshonmusic.blogspot.com/2008/02/not-exactly-remixes.html). Yes, it’s a shame. The composer (does he deserves to be called that way?) has merely changed the tempo of the song and changed the rhythm.
Some other examples are :- "Kurukku Siruthavale" was rehashed into "Maan Kuttiye" by S.A.Rajkumar; "Kannalane" was rehashed into "Sollamale" by the same gentleman again!
Some other examples would be many straight lifts that music directors like Shankar Ganesh, Sirpi and Deva did!
Finally, if I was successful in what I wanted to say, then you would agree with me that:
“Maan kutti petha mayile” was not copied from “Vaa dee en kappa kazhange”.