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Hindi Film Music

Hindi film music first broke into the scene in the 1930’s and has remained central to the movie experience ever since.

The story began in 1931 when musical tastes around the country were still dominated by melodies that drew primarily on ragas. Most singers delivered songs in the tradition of their Gharanas. Playback technology was available but was not used initially and actors sang their own songs.

The first Hindi playback song was recorded for the film Dhoop Chhaon in 1935. The first real film orchestra was formed for the movie Achhut Kanyaa in 1936.

Hindi film music soon entered its “studio era”. Till the 1950’s, studios had their own stock of music directors and musicians. This was followed up by the “Music Director Era” that stretched into the 90’s. Hindi film music mirrors what is in vogue – Swing Jazz, Twist, Rock n Roll, Disco, Hip Hop and House.  

Hindi film music has many high points. It has produced some fantastic music supported by an “eco system” of great composers, lyricists, directors, musicians and extra ordinary singers. 

The development of Hindi Film music has been mirrored by regional cinema as well. In fact there is a constant osmosis and collaboration across film music of all languages.

Hindi film music has gained enormously from contribution from stalwarts from regional cinema. Giants such as such as Dr. Yesudas and Rehman are claimed by the Hindi film industry as their very own.

The staple of high drama, many songs and elaborate has evolved into a genre recognized all over the world as “Bollywood”.  Improving production values are taking this to new markets. It has helped market India effectively and provided enormous “soft power”.