Ilaiyaraaja vs AR Rahman: Difference and Comparison

Key Takeaways

  1. Ilaiyaraaja is iconic in the Indian music industry, particularly film music.
  2. AR Rahman is a globally acclaimed composer, musician and music producer.
  3. Ilaiyaraaja is known for his classical and melodic compositions. In contrast, A.R. Rahman is renowned for his fusion of various musical genres, including Indian classical, electronic and world music, resulting in an experimental sound.

Who is Ilaiyaraaja?

Ilaiyaraaja is iconic in the Indian music industry, particularly film music. He is a prolific composer, conductor, and lyricist born on June 2, 1943, in Tamil Nadu, India. His contribution to Indian cinema, especially in the South, has earned him the nickname ‘Isaignani’.

His journey in music began at a young age, and he was quickly recognized for his exceptional talent. His early career saw him composing for various regional music genres and eventually transitioning to film music. He debuted as a film composer in 1976 with the Tamil film ‘Annakili’ which marked the beginning of a remarkable era in Indian film music.

What sets him apart is his versatility and innovation. His compositions have a profound emotional depth, making them a crucial component of the success of numerous films.

Who is A.R. Rahman?

AR Rahman is a globally acclaimed composer, musician and music producer born in Chennai, India on January 6, 1967. Rahman is synonymous with innovation, and he has redefined the contours of Indian music, particularly in the film industry.

One of his redefining qualities is his ability to fuse various musical genres seamlessly. His compositions incorporate elements of classic Indian music, world music, electronic beats and orchestral arrangements. This distinctive fusion has earned him a dedicated global fan base.

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2009 was a watershed moment for him when he won two Academy Awards for Best Original Score and Best Original Song for his work on the film ‘Slumdog Millionaire’. This made him the first Indian composer to achieve such a feat, propelling him into international stardom.

Difference Between Ilaiyaraaja and A.R. Rahman

  1. Ilaiyaraaja rose to prominence in the late 1970s and continued to dominate the Indian music scene throughout the 1980s and 1990s. In contrast, A.R. Rahman burst into the scene in the early 1990s and became a prominent figure in Indian and global music in the late 1990s and 2000s.
  2. Ilaiyaraaja is known for his classical and melodic compositions. In contrast, A.R. Rahman is renowned for his fusion of various musical genres, including Indian classical, electronic and world music, resulting in an experimental sound.
  3. Ilaiyaraaja primarily composed using traditional musical instruments and arrangements, focusing on the depth of his composition. At the same time, A.R. Rahman is known for embracing modern technology and electronic elements in his music.
  4. Ilaiyaraaja has received numerous awards for his exceptional work, including National Film and state awards. In contrast, A.R. Rahman’s awards include- the Grammy Awards and a BAFTA, making him one of the most decorated composers in the world.
  5. Ilaiyaraaja has had a profound influence on generations of South Indian music composers, while A.R. Rahman’s groundbreaking work has not only influenced Indian music but has also inspired musicians worldwide.

Comparison Between Ilaiyaraaja and A.R. Rahman

ParametersIlaiyaraajaA.R. Rahman
Era of dominanceIn the late 1970sIn the late 1990s
Musical styleClassical and melodiousFusion of music genres, including Indian classical, electronic and world music
Innovation and TechnologyTraditional musical instrumentsModern technology and electronic elements
Global RecognitionNumerous awards like the National Film Awards and State AwardsGrammy Awards and BAFTA
Legacy and InfluenceA profound influence on South Indian music composersInfluenced Indian music but also inspired musicians worldwide
References
  1. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1057/978-1-137-57375-9_3
  2. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Jebakumar-Chelladurai/publication/332115848_A_Comparative_Study_On_Folk_Songs_and_Western_Songs_in_the_Contemporary_Tamil_Cinema/links/5f89671da6fdccfd7b6569ff/A-Comparative-Study-On-Folk-Songs-and-Western-Songs-in-the-Contemporary-Tamil-Cinema.pdf
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Last Updated : 07 March, 2024

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