Friday, May 25, 2012

Hindi film songs of yesteryears

Browsing about the period from thirties to fifties of Hindi film songs, there are six posts in Upperstall about the evolution during this period part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6 and one of the crucial figures seems to be Ghulam Haider . I could not appreciate the songs of some of the famous ones like Noor Jehan (perhaps too local and I am not much in to ghazals) and some of the excerpts seem to clarify my likings for me. Excerpts about Lata "She was even rejected by producer S Mukherji who vetoed music director Ghulam Haider from using her for his film Shaheed (1948) saying her voice was too thin and squeaky! Haider warned Mukherji that this girl would one day overtake Noor Jehan and helped her breakthrough withthe song Mera Dil Toda from Majboor (1948)......... Such was Lata Mangeshkar's impact that within a year she had changed the face of the playback singer as her highly trained high-pitched singing rendered the nasal, basy voices of the day totally obsolete. At least music directors had found the voice that could stretch their creative experiments to the fullest. The only two singers to survive the Lata onslaught were Geeta Roy and to a certain extent Shamshad Begum as Lata went on to conquer all and sundry with her magical voice!" That was from the last article in the series. I am more partial to Geeta's songs. From the second, "1941 saw the release of a film, Pancholi Pictures Khazanchi, which was to change the face of Hindi Film Music. By then Music Directors of the 1930s, who had embellished films with their exquisite compositions set in classical ragas, were beginning to sound commonplace. Khazanchi's refreshingly free wheeling music by Ghulam Haider not only took the audiences by storm but also made other music directors sit up and take notice. Khazanchi, combining popular ragas with the rich verve and rhythm of Punjabi folk music, ensured that the Indian film song would never be the same again. Saawan ke Nazaare with the hero and heroine and their groups on cycles was a trendsetter song not only for its liveliness but also for introducing the big bang meeting of the boy and girl as they bang into each other's cycles! Gradually Hindi Film Music also began drawing from other States of India - from Uttar Pradesh, Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh. Music forms like the Purabi or Pahadi also proved to be extremely popular." From the above article on Ghulam Haider "Just like the USA, where all diverse nationalities get into the grand melting pot and become Americans, Bombay creates a unique amalgam of film and music makers that make it Bollywood. If Ghulam Haider gave a new style to Bombay, he in turn gained a lot from the grand melting pot experience of the city. As music director S. Mohinder puts it, “Every music director hailing from any part of India and arriving in Bombay, gains immensely from the music directors representing other cultures and participates in the creation of a new amalgam called the composite music of India”. Ghulam Haider’s style also underwent a see change, it happened especially after most of the members of his orchestra went back to Lahore after an explosion in Bombay."

13 comments:

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