Early Exposure

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Ilaiyaraaja grew up in a rural area, exposed to a range of Tamil folk music. At the age of 14, He joined a travelling musical troupe headed by his elder brother, PavalarVaradarajan, and spent the next decade performing throughout South India. While working with the troupe, he penned his first composition.a musical adaptation of an elegy written by the Tamil poet laureate Kannadasan for Jawaharlal Nehur, India’s first prime minister. In 1968, Ilaiyaraaja began a music course with Professor Dhanraj in Madras (now Chennai), which included an overview of Western classical Music,compositional training in techniques such as counterpoint.

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