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MUSIC INSTRUMENTS IN FILMS - AN INTRO
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ragasuda
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 3:44 pm    Post subject: MUSIC INSTRUMENTS IN FILMS - AN INTRO Reply with quote

Dear friends,
While going through pages of our forum, one might like to know some basics on music, viz. film music. One of them can be the instruments used in films. I thought this might be of great use to such film music enthusiasts and more so to the fans of MSV.

Thought of starting this series with our favourite percussion instrument, bongos drum, colloquially called bangos.



Quote:
"Bongos (Spanish: bongó) are an Afro-Cuban percussion instrument. The drums are of different size: the larger drum is called in Spanish the hembra (female) and the smaller the macho (male). They are membranophones, or instruments that create sound by a vibration of a stretched membrane."


reproduced from wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bongo_drum

Prominent songs that immediately come to our mind are

1. Pon Magal Vandhal - Sorkkam
2. Oru Pennai Parthu - Deivathaai
3. Penn Ponal - Enga Veettu Pillai

I request our friends who are well versed with instruments, to take part in this topic and introduce the variety of instruments that have been used by our Mellisai Mannar.

Since there are elaborate discussions on the use of instruments in other topics, we can restrict this to just introduce the instrument with some examples from the songs of MSV
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Last edited by ragasuda on Thu Oct 03, 2013 3:57 pm; edited 1 time in total
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ragasuda
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 3:53 pm    Post subject: 2. Trombone Reply with quote

Trombone



The trombone is a musical instrument in the brass family. Like all brass instruments, sound is produced when the player’s vibrating lips (embouchure) cause the air column inside the instrument to vibrate. Nearly all trombones have a telescoping slide mechanism that varies the length of the instrument to change the pitch. Instead of a slide, the valve trombone has three valves like those on a trumpet.

More at : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trombone

E.g. used in the song "En Kelvikken Badhil", in Uyarndha Manidhan
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Sai Saravanan
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2013 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Xylophone

One of the melodious effects produced in our Mellisai Maamannar's compoistions, especially in many of the songs picturised in foreign locations, is by Xylophone. This is also categorised under percussion type of instruments. This is used in many African and Asian regions as a traditional musical instrument. The style of making such an instrument also varies, but the basic sound and mechanism of sound production appears similar.

We have elaborately discussed its usage by MM is our thread:

http://msvtimes.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2257

where many examples have been cited by our friends. Most memorable ones being Malai raani munthaanai, Pongum kadalosai, Joyful Singapore, etc.

The descriptions of the types of the instrument appears in the Wikipedia at

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xylophone

I must mention that this is a nice idea to discuss those instruments that graced our MM to express his melodies eloquently! Good thread, Sir!
Thanks,
Sai Saravanan[/img]
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madhuraman
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 6:49 am    Post subject: BONGO Reply with quote

Dear Friends,
The thread on instruments draws my attention to an old posting. Please treat it as a reference on how to go after a job.

Please visit
www.msvtimes.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1498
Let me see what our friends have to say.
Regards K.Raman
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VaidyMSV & Sriram Lax
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dear prof

thank you for ref mr RAM N RAMAKRISHNAN's article on Msv and bango

Amazing ,i was overwhelmed to read this excellant article.
we miss not only Bangos but also articles from people like RAM

longing for such treats .


so happy
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parthavi
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 12:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Mr. Raghavendran for your innovative and useful topic. This thread will be very useful to people like me who have no knowledge of instruments used in orchestra. I learnt the names Bongos, Trombone etc. only after joining this forum.

I think Bongos was used in the prelude of Pesuvathu Kiliyaa, just before the starting of the pallavi and this received attention. This was perhaps the first occasion when the intelligent use of Bongos by MSV was widely noticed and appreciated.
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ragasuda
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 10:58 pm    Post subject: Electric Guitar Reply with quote

Thank you Sai Saravanan, for the supportive posts and encouragement, and so Professor, Shankar, VK, Parthavi and friends.

Next in the List is Electric Guitar



Quote:
An electric guitar is a guitar that uses a pickup to convert the vibration of its strings into electrical impulses. The most common guitar pickup uses the principle of direct electromagnetic induction. The signal generated by an electric guitar is too weak to drive a loudspeaker, so it is amplified before sending it to a loudspeaker. Since the output of an electric guitar is an electric signal, the signal may easily be altered using electronic circuits to add "color" to the sound. Often the signal is modified using effects such as reverb and distortion.
Invented in 1931, the electric guitar became a necessity as jazz musicians sought to amplify their sound in the big band format. During the 1950s and 1960s, the electric guitar became the most important instrument in rock music.[1] It has evolved into a stringed musical instrument that is capable of a multitude of sounds and styles. It served as a major component in the development of rock and roll and many other genres of music. However the electric guitar has hardly moved on from the late 1950s. With even today the most popular guitars being designed and first built in the late 1950s. Advancement since the late 1950s has been very slow in the instrument itself with most advancements being in the guitar amplification equipment.


reproduced from wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_guitar

Quote:

Construction


Electric guitar design and construction varies greatly as to the shape of the body, and configuration of the neck, bridge, and pickups. However, some features are present on most guitars. The photo below shows the different parts of an electric guitar. The headstock (1) contains the metal machine heads (1.1), which use worm gear for tuning. The nut (1.4)—a thin fret-like strip of metal, plastic, graphite or bone—supports the strings at the body end of the instrument. The frets (2.3) are thin metal strips that stop the string at the correct pitch when the player pushes a string against the fingerboard. The truss rod (1.2) is a metal rod (usually adjustable) that counters the tension of the strings to keep the neck straight. Position markers (2.2) provide the player with a reference to the playing position on the fingerboard.
The neck and fretboard (2.1) extend from the body. At the neck joint (2.4), the neck is either glued or bolted to the body. The body (3) is typically made of wood with a hard, polymerized finish. Strings vibrating in the magnetic field of the pickups (3.1, 3.2) produce an electrical current in the pickup winding that passes through the tone and volume controls (3.Cool to the output jack. Some guitars have piezo pickups, in addition to or instead of, magnetic pickups.
Some guitars have a fixed bridge (3.4). Others have a spring-loaded hinged bridge called a vibrato bar tremolo bar, or whammy bar that lets players bend notes or chords up or down in pitch, or perform a vibrato embellishment. A plastic pickguard on some guitars protects the body from scratches or covers the control cavity that holds most of the wiring.
The degree to which the choice of woods and other materials in the solid guitar body (3) affects the sonic character of the amplified is disputed. Many believe it is highly significant, while others think the difference between woods is subtle. In acoustic and archtop guitars, wood choices more clearly affect tone.
Typical solid body electric guitars woods include alder (brighter, but well rounded),[citation needed] swamp ash (similar to alder, but with more pronounced highs and lows),[citation needed] mahogany (dark, bassy, warm),[citation needed] poplar (similar to alder),[citation needed] and basswood (very neutral).[citation needed]
Maple, a very bright tonewood,[citation needed] is also a popular body wood, but is very heavy. For this reason it is often placed as a 'cap' on a guitar made primarily of another wood. Cheaper guitars are often made of cheaper woods, such as plywood, pine or agathis—not true hardwoods—which can affect durability and tone. Though most guitars are made from wood, any material may be used. Materials such as plastic, metal, and even cardboard have been used in some instruments.
The guitar output jack typically provides a monaural signal. Many guitars with active electronics use a jack with an extra contact normally used for stereo. These guitars used the extra contact to break the ground connection to the on-board battery to preserve battery life when the guitar is unplugged. These guitars require a mono plug to close the internal switch and connect the battery to ground. Standard guitar cables use a high impedance 1/4 inch (6.35 mm) mono plug. These have a tip and sleeve configuration referred to as a TS phone connector.
A few guitars feature stereo output. For example Rickenbacker guitars equipped with Rick-O-Sound. There are a variety of ways the "stereo" effect may be implemented. Commonly, but not exclusively, stereo guitars route the neck and bridge pickups to separate output buses on the guitar. A stereo cable then routes each pickup to its own signal chain or amplifier. For these applications, the most popular connector is a high impedance 1/4 inch plug with a tip, ring and sleeve configuration—also known as a TRS phone connector. Some studio instruments, notably certain Gibson Les Paul models, incorporate a low impedance 3-pin XLR connector for balanced audio. Many exotic arrangements and connectors exist that support features such as midi and hexaphonic pickups.




Legend: 1. Headstock:
1.1 machine heads
1.2 truss rod cover
1.3 string guide
1.4 nut
2. Neck:
2.1 fretboard
2.2 inlay fret markers
2.3 frets
2.4 neck joint
3. Body
3.1 "neck" pickup
3.2 "bridge" pickup
3.3 saddles
3.4 bridge
3.5 fine tuners and tailpiece assembly
3.6 tremolo arm (whammy bar)
3.7 pickup selector switch
3.8 volume and tone control knobs
3.9 output connector (output jack)(TS)
3.10 strap buttons
4. Strings:
4.1 bass strings
4.2 treble strings


More info at : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_guitar



I request our friends to highlight the use of electric guitar by MSV in films.
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madhuraman
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 6:29 am    Post subject: Articles Reply with quote

Dear Mr. Rangaswamy,
You have observed that the Bongo opening of 'pEsuvadhu kiLiyA' was perhaps first noticed and appreciated. In a sense you are right ; yes it was widely popular for its opening.

But, well before that the Bongo beat of even more swift and enticing artistry was handed down through 'DeivathAi ' number 'oru peNNai pAArthu nilavai pAArthEn' TMS -PS and rumours then were rich in the air that MSV has employed some deft artist from Africa for playing such a rapid note; the same rumour surfaced again for another mega hit "pAarththa gnyabagam illayO" of 'Pudhiya paravai" where also a robust Bongo beat captivates the listener.

[But it was later recognized that all these rapid fire works on Bongo were from the finger-palm dexterity of 'aasthana all rounder' on MSV's troupe Late Shri. Gopalakrishnan [pretty senior to MSV] but was quite loyal to MSV and had the guts and freedom to address MSV as "ViswanathAA".
He who would right away tell MSV whenever some changes were necessary [in Gopalakrishnan's perception] and MSV used to bestow serious attention to what Gopalakrishnan suggested].

Based on such intimacy with his musicians MSV keeps telling "It is all Team work". Where is such a team or such an MD who has the wisdom to listen to suggestions?.

Talking of Bongo and its fine display in Bongo's early entry to TFM, I draw attention to 'rOjA malarE rAjakumAri' of 'veeraththirumagan'. Friends, please listen to that number and see if any other style of percussion could have rendered this rich decoration to the song.
If any proof is needed listen to songs from other MDs during the same period or even after.

Certainly, MSV made Bongo a powerful tool for expressing mood.

Thanks for the opportunity

Regards K.Raman Madurai
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parthavi
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Prof,
After writing about the use of Bongos in 'pesuvadhu kiliyaa' I started nurturing doubt whether the instrument used there was Bongos at all, since no one else had mentioned it. I was wondering whether I had ventured into an area (use of instruments) in which my knowledge is next to nothing. I am relieved to learn from your reply that it was Bongos alright.

I am not good at remembering the chronological order of films especially those of the early 60's. I happened to watch the Malarum Ninaivugal program of Editor N.R.Kittu (one of the best in which he explained several nuances of editing illustrating them with appropriate examples) in Doordharshan in the eighties or nineties in which he mentioned that a record number of instruments was used for that song. I don't remember where I got the information about Bongos.

I was astonished by the fast pace of rhythm in partha gnabakam illaiyo and some other songs but I didn't know that the rhythm was produced using Bongos. It was only after reading Ram N.Ramakrishnan's exhaustive and meticulously written post (which you appropriately opened up recently) that I was aware of the use of bongos in so many songs. I have to listen to all these songs including Roja malare mentioned by you carefully to spot the use of Bongos to understand and appreciate the significance of MSV's choice and style.
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ragasuda
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 6:13 pm    Post subject: Bagpipe Reply with quote

BAGPIPE



Quote:
Bagpipes are a class of musical instrument, aerophones, using enclosed reeds fed from a constant reservoir of air in the form of a bag. Though the Scottish Great Highland Bagpipe and Irish uilleann pipes have the greatest international visibility, bagpipes have been played for centuries throughout large parts of Europe, the Caucasus, around the Persian Gulf and in Northern Africa. The term "bagpipe" is equally correct in the singular or plural, although in the English language, pipers most commonly talk of "the pipes" or "a set of pipes".


Quote:
Construction
A set of bagpipes minimally consists of an air supply, a bag, a chanter, and, usually, at least one drone. Most bagpipes have more than one drone (and, sometimes, more than one chanter) in various combinations, held in place in stocks — sockets that fasten the various pipes to the bag.



Source and more info at WIKIPEDIA AT: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bagpipes

A sample of videos for bagpipe

http://www.youtube.com/embed/qIbtSYoJ9sY

How bagpipes are made

http://youtu.be/-DeAdhYKbGE
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Last edited by ragasuda on Tue Oct 15, 2013 5:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Vatsan
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2013 12:50 pm    Post subject: Instr. Reply with quote

Excellent topic Ragasuda !!! Thanks !!! Bongos occupied a most important slot in MSV's "modern" repertoire and certainly Gopalakrishnan introduced a most novel style of "entering" a song and presenting punctuations like no other bongo player did in India. His understanding with the drummer Noel Grant and the rhythm patterns they weaved out together are legendary. Songs like "veLLikkiNNamthAn", "thEdi varum deiva sugam" are testimony enough for their musical union. The roll on the bongo that Gopalakrishnan could reel off at pivotal points in a song (sometimes under MSV's request sometimes on his own) are indeed breathtaking for their emotional value add. And how they incorporate exciting and thrilling characteristics to the overall flow of the song !!! I always savour the timely, thunderous roll on the bongos at the end of the pallavi the first time it is sung, following the humming in the song "paruvam enathu pAdal".... three rolls knitted together, what a stimulating flourish !!! GK's uniqueness lay in the fact that he played Bongos like he would play Mridangam (he played that too) and yet squeeze in a style that would do justice to Bongos philosophy, a true "fusion" artiste !!!! The pattern that MSV introduced in "minminiyai kaNmaNiyAi" , in the pallavi is wonderous at the very least. Any other composer would have settled for a plain waltz treatment but MSV within the 3/4 beat (waltz) sneaks in a 4/4 on bongos deftly played by GK and that is a most confusing assignment indeed !!!! Now, here comes the magic, view (read listen) to the song shutting out the bongos and the song comes to you as an introspective calm melody that caresses. Try the other perspective, brush aside the brush+drums waltz effect with bongos superimposed and what u get to experience is a racy melody that rushes through and overwhelms at the same time !!! Needless to say, GK and Noel Grant were two of the most important cogs of the MSV experimental wheel.
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Vatsan
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2013 1:00 pm    Post subject: Bagpipe Reply with quote

The song that springs to mind immediately is "anru oomai peNNallO" . The undulating shrieks before "maNippurAvum" and in the interludes certainly sound like Bagpipes combined with flutes to me. Please correct me if I am wrong. "thottuvida thottuvida thudikkum" by KVM certainly had bagpipes in the interludes before the violins step in.
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madhuraman
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 7:16 pm    Post subject: Articles Reply with quote

Dear Mr.Parthavi,
Here is the link for "RojA malarE rAjakumAri" PBS -PS. watch the Bongo beats and its dexterity at all pallavi stretches.


www.youtube.com/ watch?V=-NG_aUnE-94


Regards K.Raman
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ragasuda
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 5:30 pm    Post subject: Kalimba or Thumb Piano Reply with quote



quote from the wiki about this instrument:

"The thumb piano or kalimba is an African musical instrument, a type of plucked idiophone (lamellophone) common throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. Also known as a " sansa" and "mbira", it is popular throughout central, western and eastern Africa. It was formerly known as the Negro piano. The kalimba is played by holding the instrument in the hands and plucking the tines with the thumbs" from the wikipedia at

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thumb_piano



a video demo of kalimba:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDSts7geYMo&feature=share&list=PL14FC0DB330A488B4

This instrument seems to be familiar and had come across in Tamil film music, or may be something similar invented by our musicians.

I hope Vatsan or Murali or any of our friends can enlighten us on this.
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madhuraman
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 7:21 pm    Post subject: Articles Reply with quote

Dear Friends [ hello Vatsan are you listening?]
Mr.Vatsan's brilliant recall of the 'made for each other' percussionists Mr.Noel Grant and Mr. Gopalakrishnan, throws me back to nostalgia over the song 'anbuLLa mAn vizhiyE' of "Kuzhandhaiyum deivamum" of 1966. Song rendered by TMS PS ANOTHER LEGENDARY PAIR.

WHATEVER, we can ill afford to miss MSV's exceptional alacrity in setting the percussion to a style that has not been even peripherally touched by the rest of the MDs in our times.
Yes, look at the innovation of sorts some half a century ago!

The Pallavi is preceded by MESMERIC STRUMMING OF GUITAR, which is simply raised to ecstasy by Noel's feather strokes on Drum. Well the beats that stand out jetting but elegantly in a timed sweep of

DM chuchak chak chachack chachak chak chak

and plays ONLY ALONG THE PALLAVI ALWAYS but withdraws just before interludes or charanams .

In every other place it is BONGO that keeps the percussion alive in a competitive and complementing gesture though set to beats very different from that of the Drums in the same song
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