M. K. Arjunan

M. K. Arjunan (Malayalam: എം.കെ. അർജുനൻ; 1 March 1936 – 6 April 2020) was an Indian film and theatre composer, known for his works in Malayalam cinema and the theatre of Kerala.[1] He was fondly referred to as Arjunan Master.

M. K. Arjunan
എം. കെ. അർജുനൻ
Arjunan master.jpg
Background information
Born(1936-03-01)1 March 1936
Chirattapalam, Cochin
Died6 April 2020(2020-04-06) (aged 84)
Kochi, Kerala, India
GenresFilm music, theatre music
Occupation(s)Theatre composer, film composer, music director
Years active1950-2019

Early lifeEdit

Arjunan was born at Chirattapalam in Fort Kochi (now part of India) on 1 March 1936 as the youngest of 14 children born to Kochukunju and Paru, among whom only four survived childhood. He lost his father at a young age and his mother (Parvathi), unable to provide for all her children, sent Arjunan and his brother, Prabhakaran, to Jeevakarunyananda Ashram at Palani where Arjunan got his first lessons in music. After school, the students would sing bhajans; his singing led the head of the ashram to give him music lessons. For the next few years Arjunan learned music Kumarayya Pillai.[2] He later learnt music under K.N Vijayarajan Master.[3]

Career and deathEdit

After composing music for amateur plays, he became a professional and worked with Changanassery Geedha, People's Theatre, Kalidasa Kalakendram, Desabhimani Theatres, Alleppey Theatres and KPAC. Arjunan went on to compose around 800 songs for 300 plays.[4]

Arjunan's first movie as a composer was Karuthapurnami, released in 1968. His association with the leading lyricist Sreekumaran Thampi in almost 50 films was one of the most prolific composer-lyricist partnerships in Malayalam film industry.[5]

During a career spanning 50 years in cinema, Arjunan scored music for more than 500 songs in over 218 Malayalam films.[6]

He is also credited with giving A. R. Rahman his first musical break by giving him a chance to play keyboards in a film. He died on 6 April 2020, at Kochi, Kerala.[7][8]

His last film was Vellaram Kunnile Vellimeenukal, with songs written by Rajeev Alunkal.[9] His last music composition was on 2019 December for Sreek Music's three love songs written by lyricist Sreekanth M Girinath [10] He died at his home at 3:30 AM IST on 6 April 2020, aged 84, and was cremated with full state honours at Palluruthy crematorium on the same day. Due to COVID-19, his funeral was conducted under strict protocols.[11][12]




  1. ^ "'You need to be lucky in the world of films': M. K. Arjunan". The Hindu.
  2. ^ "The Original Master of Melody". The Hindu.
  3. ^ "Half a century, not out". The Hindu. 6 February 2006. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  4. ^ "Kerala State Awards: The master composer is rewarded after 50 years". The New Indian Express.
  5. ^ "Sweet end to a long wait". Deccan Chronicle.
  6. ^ "A long musical journey". The Hindu. 28 April 2006. Archived from the original on 13 September 2008. Retrieved 17 January 2010.
  7. ^ "Film fraternity hails Rahman, Pookutty for win". The Indian Express. India. 23 February 2009. Retrieved 29 June 2013.
  8. ^ "Exclusive Interview with M K Arjunan master about A R Rahman". Malayala Manorama.
  9. ^ "അവസാന അർജുന സംഗീതം രാജീവ് ആലുങ്കലിന്റെ വരികൾക്ക്". ManoramaOnline (in Malayalam). Retrieved 6 April 2020.
  10. ^ "അർജുനൻ മാഷിന്റെ അവസാന ഈണങ്ങൾ നെഞ്ചോടു ചേർത്ത് ശ്രീകാന്ത്". mathrubhumi (in Malayalam). Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  11. ^ "Veteran music composer MK Arjunan is no more - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 15 August 2021.
  12. ^ Kumar, P. k Ajith (6 April 2020). "Music composer M.K. Arjunan no more". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 15 August 2021.
  13. ^ "Kerala State Film Awards: Debut films steal the show - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 15 August 2021.
  14. ^ Correspondent, A. (20 April 2018). "Film critics awards announced". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 15 August 2021.
  15. ^ "Abrid Shine's Poomaram wins big at Mazhavil Mango Music awards". OnManorama. Retrieved 15 August 2021.
  16. ^ "Veteran Malayalam Music Composer MK Arjunan Passes Away at 84". India.com. 6 April 2020. Retrieved 15 August 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

External linksEdit