Bollywood Melodies: A History

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Random House Publishers India Pvt. Limited, Feb 14, 2008 - Literary Collections - 280 pages
A delightful history of the Hindi film song and its hold over popular psyche De de Khuda ke naam pe' sang Wazir Mohammed Khan in Alam Ara (1931), giving birth to a phenomenon—the Hindi film song. Over the years, the Hindi film song has travelled a long way, influencing and being influenced by popular taste. Considered downmarket not so long ago, it is undoubtedly the most popular musical genre in India today, pervading almost all aspects of Indian life—weddings, funerals, religious festivals, get-togethers and political conventions—and emerging as a medium to articulate every shade of joy and sorrow, love and longing, hope and despair. "Bollywood Melodies traces the evolution of the Hindi film song to its present status as the cultural barometer of the country, through an evaluation of the work of over fifty outstanding composers, singers and lyricists—from K.L. Saigal to Sonu Nigam, Naushad to A.R. Rahman, Sahir Ludhianvi to Javed Akhtar. Placing the song in the social context of the times, Gancsh Anantharaman looks at the influences that shaped it in each era: Rabindra Sangcct in the 1930s, the folk-inspired 1940s, the classical strains of the following decade and the advent of Western beats in the late 1960s. The author also chronicles the decline of music in Hindi films over the next twenty years before a new crop of musicians and singers gave the film song a new lease of life." Erudite yet lively, and including insightful interviews with icons like Lata Mangeshkar, Dev Anand, Gulzar, Manna Dey and Pyarelal, Bollywood Melodies is not only a treasure trove of information for music lovers but also an invaluable guide to understanding the nation’s enduring love affair with the Hindi film song.

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About the author (2008)

Ganesh Anantharaman spent the first thirty-two years of his life in Mumbai, where he acquired both his love for film music and an MPhil in political science. He taught that subject at the undergraduate level for six years, before moving on to training and development as his vocation after becoming professional member of the Indian Society for Applied Behavioural Sciences (ISABS) in 1998. He is currently an organization development consultant based in Bangalore, living there with his wife and five-year-old son.

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