Neethane En Ponvasantham - Discovery

While listening to the awesome songs of Neethane En Ponvasantham (CD | mp3) by Ilaiyaraaja, I made an interesting discovery. To me, it looks all the songs end in the Panchamam (Pa note).  Not sure if it is intentional or if it is coincidental. Songs ending with Shadjamam (Sa note) is very common. But all 8 songs (actually 9) from the album ending in Panchamam was interesting. I will list how each song ends below. Please correct me if I am wrong.

  1. Saindhu Saindhu - This song is in D major. The strings seem to play the Pa note (the note A in western) at the end.
    P P P , P P P ,
  2. Kaatrai Konjam - This song is set in E major. Both the melody and the strings+sax end in the Pa note (B in western) in lower octave.
    Melody: G,m G,R S,N D,P P,
    Sax+Strings: S N n D d P P,PP,PP
  3. Mudhal Murai - This is in B minor. The string hit at the end seems to be the note Pa (F# in western).
  4. Vaanam Mella - This song is set in F minor. The melody at the end, ends in Pa (C in western) in the lower octave.
  5. a) Pudikkila Maamu - This is again in E major. The "alarudhu teenage hey" line ends in the Pa note (B in western).
    GGGG G,m, ,,,, P,,,,,,,,

    b) Veedhi Patthade - This is in the scale of Madhyamavathi with A# as the tonic. The short guitar postlude at the end, ends in Pa (F in western).
    nSR S,n R,n,R, PP, P,P,,,
  6. Yennodu Vaa Vaa - This is in E minor. The melody at the end, ends in Pa (B in western) in the lower octave.
    gg,S gggS ggRS R,-- | nSR, R,n, nSR, R,n, | g,S, n,d, P
  7. Pengal Endraal - This is again in B minor. The melody at the end, ends in Pa (F# in western).
    PDNS RgmP P
  8. Satru Munbu - This song is set in D minor. The melody at the end, ends in Pa (A in western) in lower octave.
    PSRg g,,g g,,g g,,S R,,P ,,,,

What do you think?

PS: Thanks to Rajiv Shankar for sharing the scales of the song which helped me to get started quickly.


  1. Great Information for those who learn music and also to those not alike!

  2. I don't know about the notes. But, it would be interesting to know what "ending with Panchamam" invoke emotionally in an ordinary listener. I am doing a wild guess here. What you say as "ending with shadjamam", musically brings the songs to comforting closure, which makes a listener feel like reading a well worded sentence ending precisely where it has to end with a perfect period. But, "ending with Panchamam" leaves it open ended; it leaves the song floating restlessly mid-air without ever hitting the ground at the end, like a sentence ending with a comma and there is no next phrase or sentence after the comma. I could be totally wrong.

  3. Thank you Dhinakar and Suresh.

    Suresh, as you said ending with Shadjamam brings the song to a proper and comforting closure. The next best bet is Panchamam. The listener won't feel anything odd with the song ending in Panchamam. There could be many such songs. What I felt interesting was that all the 9 songs in this album end with Panchamam and hence I doubt if it was an intentional effort.

    When you end song on a Ri (rishabham) or Ni (nishadham), then it will be open ended as you had observed. There are many songs that end in Ri and Ni too. It depends on the composition and the situation. Sometimes it would sound better to end in Ri.

    While listening to Couples Retreat sound track I found that at many places, I expected the song to end open endedly on Ri or some such note, but ARR brought it to closure with a Sa, which I felt was a little forced.

  4. Suresh, the open ended-ness of a song ending on Pa also depends on the chord given there. For example, Ennodu Vaa Vaa is in E minor. Even though the song ends in Pa, I think the chord given there is E minor. Take the example of Mudhal Murai which is in B minor. Here the song ends with the F# major chord I think. So there is an open ended-ness in this case.

  5. Anonymous11:45 PM

    @ramesh, Good finding. I will go through the songs once again. By the way, are the songs really awesome? of course it is very subjective. For me, the songs sound pretty ordinary. It is no way near to his standard. Just take out the name of RAJA SIR from the Album and simply listen to the tunes, quality of the interludes, length of the instrument pieces and the sound mixing as a whole. It is a great disappointment to me a great fan of RAJA SIR. I am in no business to comment about HIS MUSIC. But I am expressing my disappointment.


  6. Hi Dilip,

    Taste is always subjective. Everyone is entitled to have their opinion. Thanks for sharing your views.