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Tamil Film Songs: A Melodious Journey Through South Indian Cinema

Indian cinema has been rich and expansive for nearly a century, and the Tamil film and music industry has greatly contributed to its overall beauty.

From representing the culture of Tamil Nadu to taking this beautiful language to ears across the globe, Tamil film songs have done it all. Undoubtedly, the Indian film music experience is incomplete without Tamil songs.

This brilliance of Tamil music attracts music enthusiasts from all parts of the world, and if you, too, can’t wait to learn more about Tamil film songs, this is the blog for you.

So, sit back and let us take you on a melodious journey through Tamil film music and South Indian cinema.

The Beginning: Tamil Film Songs Gaining Popularity

The journey of Tamil film music began early in the 20th century. This was the time when silent films were starting to give way to ‘talkies.’

The first Tamil sound film was named “Kalidas,” and it was released in 1931. This film introduced Tamil film music to the world of Indian cinema.

Shri P.S. Diwakar composed the tracks for this film, and starting there, Tamil music has continuously impressed audiences through its diverse genres.

The Golden Era of Tamil Film Music

Now that Tamil film music had started gaining popularity through movies, the time between the 1940s and 1960s witnessed the golden rise of Tamil film songs.

This was the period when legendary composers such as G. Ramanathan, S.M. Subbaiah Naidu, and T.R. Papa emerged and laid the foundation for Tamil film music’s future growth. This was also accompanied by other popular artists, including M.S. Viswanathan and T.K. Ramamoorthy, a duo that was widely referred to as MSV-TKR.

Talk to a music-loving old person from Tamil Nadu, and they’ll tell you how this duo revolutionised the Tamil film music industry and how their compositions are still celebrated.

Apart from that, this particular period also saw iconic playback singers like T.M. Soundarajana and P.Susheela presenting musical marvels like “Oruvar Meethu” and “Chittukkuruvi.”

And The Evolution Begins: A Mix of Traditions, Instruments, and Genres!

As Tamil cinema evolved, so did its music.

The 1970s and 1980s witnessed the inclusion of more modern and experimental elements into Tamil film music.

Composers like Ilaiyaraaja and Sir R.D. Burman started taking Tamil cinema music to the highest pedestals. These experiments gave Tamil music a fresh perspective, influencing artists of past, present, and future!

While Ilaiyaraja was known for incorporating classical and folk elements with contemporary music styles, Sir R.D. Burman gained much appreciation for his unique style that keeps his music fresh, even decades after release.

Turning Point: 1990s

While Ilaiyaraaja and Sir R.D. Burman were still relevant and making a mark on the Tamil film-music industry, A.R. Rahman was ready to impress with his debut track in the film “Roja.”

This track took the Indian film industry by storm and earned him national acclaim.

His ability to seamlessly blend Indian classical music with electronic sounds enabled him to create a new musical language that is loved by audiences worldwide.

Moving further, A.R. Rahman composed a huge bunch of Tamil film songs, which were later dubbed or repurposed as Hindi tracks.

The Impact: Tamil Film Music Beyond All Borders

Tamil movie songs have transcended language barriers and made their mark globally.

Whether it’s the foot-tapping beats of “Unakkum-Enakkum,” or the old retro atmosphere that “Sangathil” creates, these and thousands of other Tamil songs have found their way into the hearts of non-Tamil speakers proving the universal appeal of these melodies.

And this popularity grew even further with the arrival of online music streaming platforms. Now, Tamil film music is more accessible than ever.

In fact, once you dive into the realm of Tamil film music, you may realise that a large bunch of Hindi songs take their melodies, concepts, compositions, and a range of musical elements from popular Tamil hits.

The growing popularity has also encouraged collaborations between Tamil film musicians and international artists, further solidifying the global impact of Tamil language and Tamil film music.

The Role of Tamil Film Songs in Storytelling

Anyone who has heard Tamil film music can say that the melodies, music and other elements are just too catchy.

However, this is not where the brilliance ends!

Tamil film songs play a crucial role in storytelling.

They convey emotions, advance the plot, provide insight into the character’s thoughts and feelings, and also represent culture.

A well-composed Tamil film song can evoke myriads of emotions at the same time.

This unique narrative element sets Tamil cinema apart and adds depth to the storyline.

Preserving, Enhancing and Learning the Art!

As we discussed Tamil film music and how it has evolved over all these years, it’s also important to recognise the need for preserving this art form for future generations.

By learning, practising and composing Tamil music, artists maintain the culture and heritage of Tamil language. To start your Tamil music journey, you can join Artium Academy’s online music classes in Tamil.

These classes will offer you great opportunities to learn Tamil music from scratch.

Our online music classes provide a convenient and accessible way for students to understand the nuances of composing, singing, and performing Tamil film songs.

These programs can help them learn about the different ragas, rhythms, and musical styles that make Tamil film music unique. Additionally, these classes will also offer you a platform to showcase your talent and connect with like-minded practicing and aspiring musicians.

Artium Academy’s range of Tamil music programs caters to beginner, intermediate and advanced learners.

So, whether you are interested in vocal music, instrumental music, or music composition, these classes will help you bring out the inner Tamil musician in you.

Why Join Artium Academy’s Online Tamil Music Classes?

Learning Tamil film music is more than just a technical process. Along with the right technique, the right approach, mindset and dedication are vital to learning, practising, improvising and performing Tamil film music.

By joining Artium Academy’s online music classes in Tamil, students can enjoy the following:

  • The convenience of learning Tamil film music online.
  • Guidance of professional musicians who have dedicated their lives to learning and teaching film music.
  • One-on-one personalised interactive sessions and virtual performances.
  • Opportunity to connect with fellow musicians with experience and ideas.
  • Access to online learning material, interactive video sessions, practice exercises and more.

Wrapping up

Tamil film music wins heart across all borders of language, location, and belief. There are so many Tamil film songs that are enjoyed by people not just in India, but across the globe. And why not! Afterall, Tamil music is known for its creative melodies, expressive lyrics, and the very emotions they depict.

Through this blog, we tried to take our readers on a musical journey across the history of Tamil cinema. We hope you enjoyed reading this.

For more details about Artium Academy’s Tamil film music programs, contact us today! We’d love to guide you.


1. How many types of music are there in Tamil?

Indian Tamil music is primarily classified into two genres:

At Artium Academy we train our students with suitable knowledge of Tamil classical and folk music. This helps them become better musicians with more flexibility and a wider range.

2. Why Tamil music is so good?

Tamil music owes its brilliance to a number of factors.

First of all, the rich Tamil culture deeply influences Tamil cinema and its music. Secondly, most of the Tamil music artists have been keen on experimenting with different musical elements. This zeal for something new seems to have helped preserve Tamil music, while also shaping its taste with changing times.

Apart from that, it’s also important to note that Tamil film music also refers to pride in Tamil identity. Hence, the cultural significance is an integral part of most Tamil songs.

This unique character intrigues and entices audiences at scale.

3. How long does it take to learn Tamil music?

Tamil is an expansive language with over 200 alphabets, and the nuances of Tamil music are largely linked to pronunciation. These factors can make learning Tamil music a challenging bet!

With Artium Academy’s professional Tamil music instructors, the learning process can be optimised. As the process of learning is personal and exclusive to every individual, it’s hard to quote how long it can take to lern Tamil music.

However, with our reliable guidance, students can quickly develop an understanding of Tamil music genres and start practicing. Start today with a FREE 1:1 Tamil Singing Session!