Sound of music

Sound of music

Sound of music
The internet has been abuzz with the talk of how British special forces are playing Bollywood music to freak out ISIS extremists.  Since anything frivolous or Western has been banned by the outfit under the Sharia Law, this move aims at discrediting the extremists and is a new psychological warfare strategy.

Netizens have a lot to say about this method and while some are rooting for the success of the scheme, others are not able to contain their amusement over the new use for Bollywood music. Reactions range from ‘this way at least someone will buy Bollywood music instead of downloading it from the internet’ to ‘Play Himesh Reshamiyya nonstop and ISIS will fall over each other to surrender.’ And while the hilarity is infectious, it does make one wonder what people actually think about the songs being churned out of one of the biggest movie industries in the world.

Says Sindhu Sreesanth “I feel music was at its best in the 80s and 90s. The songs we hear in today’s movies have neither purpose nor meaning. They seem like a bunch of random words set to a peppy beat. Most of the time these gibberish lyrics do not even make sense and I am unable to fathom what enjoyment people derive out of these.”

Nayanika Majumdar adds. “Most of the songs seem irritatingly repetitive but I won’t characterise the entire music industry as such. There are some songs that really touch the soul and make me happy. Earlier, all slow songs used to have this effect on me but these days, only a small fraction of the music is truly enjoyable.”

It is not only the sloppy lyrics that music enthusiasts find annoying. It is also the constant objectification of women.

Skimpily dressed women in the background seem to be a must nowadays and even when some director mercifully does away with this act, the leading lady, more often that not, compensates for the loss by keeping her own attire as minimal as possible. Then there are our heroes- revered deities of the masses. When they grab a woman, stalk her, whistle and leer at her and don’t understand the fact that when a woman says no, it could (amazingly!) mean a no, they set an example for their many million fans to gladly follow.

Says Nayanika, “Most of the songs seem highly disrespectful of women and appear very sexist. There is also a trend of using singers with horrible, squeaky voices for item numbers and this makes the song all the more cringeworthy.”

However, not everyone is writing off the songs completely. Just as it takes time to mine a diamond out of the coal, similarly, it will take patience to sit and listen to song after song exhorting people to drink bottles of Vodka or shake their body before finally finding one that soothes the senses.

Srishankar, a budding musician, says “We should have woken up from our slumber when noise started taking precedence over creativity. However, it is not fair to brand all old music as good and all new experiments as stale.

Not all old songs were good and we have had some really nice songs in a few of our recent movies. Quality is not dependent on time. It comes from creativity and hard work  and when that happens, you can create magic. However, it does bring a sense of despondency to learn that music is being used as a weapon.”

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