Has eastern classical music become extinct in bollywood films?
With strong domination of western music for the last 20 years the audience wonder about the fact whether eastern classical music had become extinct in bollywood films. If the films are analysed which had popular music in the last year, we will refer Om Shanti Om, Sawaria, Chak De, etc., which had western music. If the trend of music for the last 20 years is studied it will be found that bollywood films hardly require eastern classical songs.
Now the influence of western music had started from the 40s itself. OP Nayyar’s orchestration in Howrah Bridge, had western effect, C. Ramchandran’s composition in Asha, had western influence, Salil Chowdhury had used western chorus in many films including Do Bigha Zameen and Anand. But there were differences from the present set of music composition because the composers knew how to blend eastern and western songs.
OP Nayyar’s song “humko tumhare isq ne”, sung by Rafi in Ek Musafir Ek Haseena, was based on eastern classical raga. Shankar Jaikishan seriously used the sexaphone in Aarzoo, but brought out the eastern classical raga in “aji rooth kar ab” sung by Lata and Rafi.
RD Burman used western compositions for his creations in “jan-e-ja”, “aja aja”, but had returned back with qawallies like “hai agar dusman zamana”, “ zamane ko dikhana hai”, etc. Even the ghazals, bhajans, classical compositions sung in the 80s in bollywood films became hits.
For example “hoto se chu lo tum”, sung by Jagjit Singh, “kesariya balma” sung by Lata in Lekin, “suramai shaam” sung by Suresh Watkar, “karoge yaad to”, sung by Bhupinder Singh got box-office success. After the 90s, composers hardly take the risk of composing bhajans, ghazals, qawallis, thumris, kajris, knowing that the reaction of the audience can be uncertain.
These days Carribean music, Latin American music, Arabic music, all had entered bollywood films, problems lies in remote use of our traditional music which still can be mixed with western creations if the composers want and the singers can sing. Bollywood music should embrace every type of music both with Indian origin and western origin and if quality music is created there is no reason why the audience will not appreciate them.
By: CR Chatterji.