Ravikiran is among the most prolific composers in Indian Music by any yardstick with over 800 compositions' to his credit. About half of these are conventional music pieces and the rest are diverse pieces for dance, operas, music for symphonies and
TV shows. A number of them these have been rendered by various artists including his students and occasionally by the composer himself. The lyrics of some of them including select operas are also available online.
Is the first to create new Indian ragas as tribute to a non-Indian icon like Beethoven (Veetovanam).
Is one of the rare few to dedicate a raga to Mahatama Gandhi (Mohini).
His other eulogies include pieces on
Buddha, Vyasa, Adi Shankara, Ramanuja, Tyagaraja, Carnatic Music Trinity, Ramana Maharshi, Swami Vivekananda, Kanchi Paramacharya, Sitar maestro Ravi Shankar, M S Subbulakshmi besides his Guru Chitravina Narasimhan and his close friend and late contemporary, Mandolin U Shrinivas.
Discovered a new Indian raga when he was two and named it Choodamani, after his mother.
Has discovered several more such as Keshavapriya, Mohini, Snehapriya, Katyayani,
Sanjeevini, Shivamanohari, Shivanandini, Nityamangala and Andhakarini.
Is the only composer to have composed in each of the 35 talas of Carnatic music.
Is the first composer to have composed the
72-mela ragamalika geetam, a unique formula-piece appropriate for both practice and performance.
Is the only composer to have composed a whole piece with only descending phrases in Carnatic music (Sada nin padame - Chakravakam).
Set a super-human world record by tuning 1330 Tirukkural verses of ancient Tamil philosopher, Tiruvalluvar in 16 hours in Jan 2016. Has set music to numerous other works of Azhwars, Sangam Literature, Purandara Dasa, Arunagirinathar and other classical/contemporary composers.
Composes in five languages - Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu, Hindi and Kannada.
Has covered a range of themes in musical forms such as varnam, krti, padam, javali, tillana and folk melodies such as chindu
Has created the form, swarakrti - compositions featuring only sol-fa passages but with
defined structure similar to krti
Wedding songs: Has composed a series of songs specially intended for wedding concerts.
Wellness and Health songs: Has composed a series of songs that pray for health and well being such as Anjaneya palayashumam in Sahana, Tryambakam yajamahe, inspired by the Mrtyunjaya Mantra in Deepakam, Devi paratpari (Lalita) etc.
Has also composed hundreds of short (ragam-tanam) pallavis live on stage and numerous
interesting korvais (rhythmic cadenzas) and developed original concepts like
His other unique/interesting creations include:
Dasha-Ranjani Tillana, Raga-bhasha-malika krtis, Natya-malika tillana, (where the 3 sections of the piece were portrayed by bharatanatyam, kathak and kuchipudi legends) Navaraga malika ragaakshara pallavi, Tillana in Chatushra-tishra
gati and various pieces that employ swarakshara (where the word matches the solfa note) in interesting and at times in a thematic manner like Sada sadayudai (Hindolam), Sadaramutonu (Shankarabharanam), Samagana suma (Kalyani) and Samaja gamani (Reetogowla).
Ravikiran has composed major pieces in grand ragas like Shankarabharanam, Kalyani, Todi, classically evocative ragas like Yadukulakambhodhi, Sahana, Dhanyasi, Surati and Devagandhari and also in ragas such as Ranjani, Kadanakutoohalam, Bindumalini and Sindhubhairavi. Most of Ravikiran's compositions adhere to rules of classical Indian rhyme, but a few intentionally deviate from the conventional path. They are marked by alliteration, word play, swarakshara-s and on occasions, raga-mudra (raga name incorporated in the lyrics).
Like numerous traditional Carnatic composers Ravikiran signs his pieces and his signature phrase is ravi-shashi. However, most of his operatic pieces will not bear this signature. There are rare instances of pieces with the word 'Ravikiran' incorporated in the lyrics.
Published works: Several of Ravikiran's varnams have been published by Sangita Kalanidhi Shri T K Govinda Rao and noted musicologist Shri B M Sundaram. A compilation of 25 of his compositions were published by disciple Savita Narasimhan in her book Adityodayam. Swatisoft has published 40 of Ravikiran's diverse compositions in a 4-volume DVD (where he teaches and renders them) and a book with notations for the same titled "Sada Sharanam".