Musically Yours

Musically Yours

Indian cinema began its innings on 3rd May 1913 with the release of the silent film Raja Harishchandra and now almost after 100 years the celebrations have already begun to mark the centennial year of Indian cinema.

historian Nalin Shah at the event marking 100 years of Indian cinema.To mark the beginning of this landmark year, a Lecdem by Nalin Shah, the 78-year old veteran historian, was organised at Mavlankar Auditorium this Sunday evening.
He has met and befriended most of the famous personalities in the field of cinema and music including Anil Biswas, Naushad, Mohd Rafi, Mukesh and over a 100 more. Nalin described the journey of Indian film music from a spectator’s eye.

He related several incidents about Hindi film musicians and music which he had heard directly from vintage film personalities like singers, lyricists and music directors etc.
Interestingly, in the silent movies era of 1913-1931, musicians used to play live in theaters during screening of silent movies to heighten emotional effects in specific situations.

His journey then continued to an era where the artists needed to sing their songs themselves whether they had good voices or not. Artists at that time were very dedicated and hard-working who even put their lives at stake, for their professional work.
They used to practice hard and long for every song that they were related to. Today’s musicians lack this quality on a large scale,” he told Metrolife.

He described the voice of Noor Jahan, who stayed in India for 5 years only and had “a voice that could ignite fire and even spread light.” As for K LSaigal’s voice, he feels that a voice like that can never diminish with time.

He continued the journey describing the sincere efforts of lyricists at the time of Independence, where they cleverly used songs to ignite the spirit of freedom in citizens.
This is a far cry from the musicians of today, who rather than being independent voices have preferred to be one among the crowd.

“Today, all musicians follow the crowd blindly. They dont risk things. They make all kinds of songs and give justifications about how the public demands them, but the reality is that public only accepts good music.”

“Even songs like Aana meri jaan Sunday ke Sunday, Mere piya gaye rangoon are remembered by everyone till date. But when asked to name any one particular song of the past decade, they go blank. This is the charm that old songs had,” he added.

He considers Lata Mangeshkar to be lucky enough that she was born at the right time when all music legends were active. “1949-1951 was the golden era of Indian music and that is the time when Lata entered Bollywood. This was the era when she sang maximum number of quality songs. Even if she had discontinued singing after 1951, she would still be a legend.”

His heart sill pines for the old era of Indian music, which had deep meanings and emotional overflow. For Nalin, singers like K LSaigal, Mukesh, Talat Mehmood, Geeta Dutt and Suraiyya still rule the charts.

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