M. K. Arjunan

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M. K. Arjunan
Arjunan master.jpg
Background information
Native name എം. കെ. അർജുനൻ
Born . 1936 March -1
Kerala, India
Genres Film Music, Stage Play Music
Occupation(s) Film composer, music director
Instruments Harmonium
Years active 1950–present
Associated acts Vayalar Rama Varma, K. J. Yesudas

M. K. Arjunan (Malayalam: എം.കെ. അർജുനൻ) (fondly called as Arjunan Master) is a Malayalam music composer from Kerala, India. He is known for composing many melodies for Malayalam cinema.[1]

Losing his father (Kochukunju) at a young age, the burden of looking after a big family fell on his mother (Parvathi). Unable to provide for all her children she sent Arjunan and his brother, Prabhakaran, to Jeevakarunyananda Ashram at Palani. It was here that Arjunan got his first lessons in music. Every evening, after school, Arjunan would join the other children in singing bhajans. Noticing something different in the young boy, the head of the ashram decided to give him music lessons. For the next few years Arjunan began learning music under Kumarayya Pillai.

During the youth, composing music was another turn in Arjunan's life. After attempts in small-time amateur plays, music composing grew into a serious hobby. Arjunan was soon sought after by almost every amateur troupe. He then graduated to the professional stage and was soon associated with top names like Changanassery Geedha, People's Theatre, Kalidasa Kalakendram, Desabhimani Theatres, Alleppey Theatres and KPAC. Arjunan Master went on to compose around 800 songs for 300 plays. This association grew into an intimate bond, which he maintains even today.

The next step was cinema. At a time when stalwarts like K. Raghavan, G. Devarajan and M. S. Baburaj ruled the roost, Arjunan managed to break into the scene and establish an identity of his own. In 1971 he composed the evergreen Ninmaniyarayile and Neelanishidhini in the film C.I.D. Nazir by P. Venu.

During a career spanning 50 years in film field, Arjunan Master has scored music for more than 500 songs in over 218 Malayalam films.[2]

He is also credited with giving A. R. Rahman his first musical break by giving him a chance to play keyboards in a film.[3]


  1. ^ "M. K. ARJUNAN THE MELODY KING". mysticswara.com. Retrieved 17 January 2010. 
  2. ^ "A long musical journey". The Hindu. 28 April 2006. Retrieved 17 January 2010. 
  3. ^ "Film fraternity hails Rahman, Pookutty for win". The Indian Express. India. 23 February 2009. Retrieved 29 June 2013. 

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