John Milton the noted English Poet complimented Shakespeare by addressing him as ''Fancy's child warbling his native wood notes wild''. In Tamil film music composition K.V.Mahadhevan remained as the doyen of native notes.In an age known for its commitment and dedication to classical music,he flew his traditional wings spreading the glory of the nativity spirit without compromising the quality of his composition.
K.V.Mahadhevan was the regular favourite of the Devar Films unit and thereby, it could be said that he was the chosen music director of all MGR movies that were released by M.M.A.Chinnappa Devar.All the mythological movies of A.P.Nagarajan derived their might from Mahadevan's magical numbers.Famous directors like APN and K.S.Gopalakrishnan could not think of any other person to compose music for their films.Besides,the Modern Theatres would frequently fall in for the felicitous flow of music from K.V.Mahadevan. The other famous director who preferred KVM to others was, L.V.Prasad and he did this particularly for his great hits like Iruvar Ullam and Idhyakkamalam.
The music contribution of K.V.Mahadhevan to Tamil Cinema was voluminous and it would be very difficult to bring his work under a restricted scanner.Among the various mythological films of APN, Thiruvilaiyadal,Saraswathi Sabatham Kandhan Karunai andThiruvarutchelvar need a special mention.Moreover,his music composition for Thilaanaa Mohanaambaal,a movie of epic grandeur, created a historic impact particularly in the two songs 'Maraindhirundhu Paarkkum Marmamenna' and 'Nalanthaanaa'.K.V.Mahadhevan also takes the credit for composing music for the only film that MGR and Sivaji acted together.[Koondukkili]
Some of the most popular songs from MGR films like Thaikkuppin Thaaram,Thai Sollai Thattaathe, Parisu,Vivasayee,Arasa Kattalai,Adimaipen, Nalla Neram, En Annan and Pallaandu Vaazhga, have become the lasting musical additions of K.V.Mahadevan to the Tamil film music album.Songs like Aahaanam Aasai Nirai Verumaa,Kaveri Karaiyirukku,Pattuvanna Chittu Padaguthurai Vittu, Kadavulenum Madhalaali,Aayiram Kaigal MaraithuNinraalum ,Aayiram Nilave Vaa, Oedi Oedi Uzhaikkanum,Nenjam Undu Nermaiyundu ,Onre Kulamenru and Poivaa Nadhi Alaiye from the movies mentioned above are the most energizing tunes of Mahadhevan.
Among the Sivaji Ganesan movies,apart from those directed by APN,there were fascinating songs from films like Makkalai Petra Magaraasi, Iratha Ththilakam, Padikkadha Medhai, Annai Illam,Paavai Vilakku, Kungumam and Vasandha Maaligai. Some of the mesmerizing melodies from these movies are Onru Serndha Anbumaarumaa,Poravale Poravale Ponnurangam Pasumai Niraindha Ninaivugale,Ore Oru Oorile,Ennirendu Padhinaaru Vayasu,Aairam kan Poedhaadhu, Kaaviyamaa Nenjin Oeviyamaa, Thoongadha Kannenru Onru , Chinnanjiriya Vannapparavai Kalaimagal Kaiporule and Mayakkamenna.
The other great works of Mahadhevan were for the films Kumudham, Vaanambaadi, Mudhalaali Dheivathin Dheivam, Manappandal,Pangaaligal and Thai Pirandhaal Vazhi Pirakkum which were all movies of S.S.Rajendran playing the hero.Songs like 'Ennaivittu Oedippoga Mudyumaa', 'Thookanaan Kuruvi Koodu' ,'Yerikkaraiyinmele','Neeiyilladha Ulagathile,'Unakku Mattum Unakku Mattum Ragasiam Solven','Chinna Arumbu Malrum', 'Amudhum Thenum Edharku' and 'Aasaiye Alaipole'.Mahadhevan's fame is further sustained by his musical show in films like Kaidhi Kannayiram Vannakkili,Yaanaipaagan, Neela Malai Thirudan,Ponnithirunaal,Town Bus,Enga Veetu Mahaalatchumi and Aadavandha Dheivam.
It is not known why the two other leading directors Sridhar and Balachander of those days made use of the musical talent of KVM only once, i.e for Vennira Aadai and Ethiroli respectively. Mahadhevan believed in his inspiration for native notes that always put him on the leading track, making success waves with traditional musical instruments.One could categorically say that the impact of the Western genre of music was a rare phenomenon during the entire course of his musical career.Listening to the music of Mahadhevan was like breathing in fresh air in a natural,unpolluted environment.It was a distinct pattern of music soothing the ears without any jarring note anywhere.It would be right to say that Mahadevan paved the right direction to be willingly and effectively taken over by Ilayaraja the prophet of Tamil film music.But Raja went one step ahead,mixing the genres of the East and West without ever losing his native hold.
The other remarkable aspect of K.V.M's compositions was the instrumental sustenance of melody and sweetness without interfering with the clarity of lyrics so that the songs were clearly heard and enjoyed along with the flow of music that adorned the lyrics with a sense of charm and grandeur. The music of Mahadhevan always takes us to the grandeur of the past with a passion for the soil to which he belonged.It leaves a deepening nostalgic endurance in the line of great film makers like APN and K.S Gopalakrishnan in whose films Mahadhevan also found an inseparable hold. No doubt, this doyen of native notes, is the darling of those who have an ear for the kind of music, that promotes a sense of belonging.