Item Code: NAC820
by Rajiv VijayakarHardcover (Edition: 2009)
Times Group Books
Size: 11.5 Inch X 8.5 Inch
Pages: 128 (Throughout in full Colors & B/W illustrations)
Weight of the Book: 543 gms
Price: $30.00 Shipping Free
Do you know anything about a 1940s film called Ek Thi Ladki? Okay here’s help.. .remember the song Lara iappa sung by Lata Mangeshkar! Does that ring a bell? That’s the power of film music. You may have never seen a film may not remember its name or cast but its melodious tracks are something you’ll instantly relate to. There have been instances when a film became a hit just due to its rich music, never-mind a lousy storyline. It’s a rule — before a film comes its music. And if the music can woo your audience there’s no looking back.
Where would Indian cinema — especially Hindi cinema — be without its music? Hindi film song is all about telling a part of the story in a different way. Hindi cinema has been endowed with this art form which has been pivotal to its popular appeal. Music, orchestration, lyrics, vocalization, picturization, choreo9raphy have all played a role in the creation of the phenomenon called Film Music. This book traces the musical journey of Indian Film Music. It unravels the milestones and magical moments of this rich music that has enthralled millions across the world with its richness, variety and creativity.
Where would Indian cinema — especially Hindi cinema — be without its music? Yes, there is a school of thought that feels that film songs make Hindi films nothing more than mere song-and-dance extravaganzas. But that’s a myopic view indeed. Because as in all classic musicals anywhere in the world, on stage or on screen, the Hindi film song is all about telling a part of the story in a different way from the norm for a few minutes. And this art form has enriched us over decades with infinite creativity in all departments — poetry or lyrics, composition, orchestration, vocals and, of course, the way the songs have been used in a film.
And though the format of the Hindi film song seems to have been derived from the Hollywood musical (since cinema as a medium has come from the West with cinematography and editing as specialized techniques for filming songs), its distinct identity shows a clear influence of the nautanki or Indian folk-theatre, reflecting human emotions, dreams, aspirations or even angst.
Creatively, the film song is also a strong melting-pot of influences. With film plots and subjects culled from just about any source, and the need to gratify audiences that originate from diverse cultural and economic backgrounds, the filmi gaana is a cauldron of cultures assimilated from ethnic as well as outside origins, and smoothly blends folk, classical and contemporary music from all parts of India as well as the globe. Javed Akhtar once remarked that the greatness of the film composer and lyricist lay in the infinite variety and quantum of songs he or she keeps creating for one of the same dozen basic situations, like the first flush of love, a lover’s tiff, heartbreak or the frenzy of passion and for specific genres like ghazals, bhajans, qawwalis, cabarets a al.
True enough, and let us not forget that some of the finest poetry and musical compositions in Hindi and Urdu in the 20th century have been heard in fIlms. Besides, considering the global size of the Indian populace added to South Asian, African and other overseas fans, Film Music could well be termed the biggest pop (as in popular or mass) music in the world, and is certainly the most accomplished.
Coming specifically to the role of the ifim song, its “duties”, so to speak, are to create the initial vibe about a film (even back in the era of plain radio and no television promos), fetch an opening to any film and create repeat-watch value for it. Of course, it has propelled a multi-crore music industry that is growing by the year despite piracy for over six decades.
And Hindi cinema abounds in songs and scores that are sometimes the only aspects that keep a movie alive. What else, for example, do we know about an anonymous 1940s film called Ek Thi Ladki other than its immortal Lara lappa sung by Lata Mangeshkar? Who recalls anything now about a film called Parasmani (despite being a success in its time) besides Laxmikant-Pyarelal’s chartbusting score that still sells on physical formats and is also popular online? And there are many other composers, lyricists and singers with humungous contributions, besides the music-savvy filmmakers and stars that inspired fabulous compositions.
We have attempted to put together some of the creme-de-la-crème in music in a fascinating treasure-pack, brought to you by Saregama and Times Music, and to trace this spellbinding journey of our cinema through these nuggets as well as the others that could not find space in this music pack, purely because the khazana is so extensive.
So, let us start out on a musical journey that is almost incomparable within the modern Indian cultural matrix. We hope to unravel the milestones and magical moments for you as you travel, elite class, over the breathtaking landscape with the stations and bridges, the dark tunnels, rich greenery and valleys and scale the peaks and zoom through the hurricanes that came and went and the sun, moons and stars that remained for ever.
|1930-36: The Birth of Film Music||7|
|1940-49: Childhood & Adolescence of film music||15|
|1950-59: The Golden age begins||27|
|1960-69: Peak Time||39|
|1970-79: Fizz & Pop||53|
|1980-89: Good Bad & Ugly and Pretty Too||77|
|1990-99: Inspired Melody||91|
|2000-2009: Low Tide||103|