Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Some Musical Thoughts - II

 When you close your eyes and listen to Bhimsen Joshi, you float in the beauty of music totally engrossed in it. That is how beautiful you feel.

The genius behind the music of Ravindra Jain makes you spell-bound. Difficult pieces of music are applied and executed practically. And the songs come out one better than the other. Difficult to not listen to the music of Ravindra Jain.

The amount of planning, the type of experimentation and the perfection in execution of music by Laxmikant-Pyarelal is un-comparable.

(I am not being critical of anyone. I am not denigrating any musician from any region. The thoughts are my own and I believe my source of my commenting paradigm is accuracy rather then appreciation of music. Currently I want to focus on above paragraphs only.)

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Some Musical Thoughts

 I would like to talk on musical talents in India.

The first thoughts that come to my mind are of Lydian Nadhaswaram and Mandolin Srinivas. Both of them displayed amazing musical talent at such a young age. While Mandolin Srinivas was mesmerizing, Lydian is unbelievable. 

Then my thoughts come to Ariyakudi Ramanuja Ayyengar. In olden days there was no standards for singing and music. They did have a beginning, pallavi and charanam; but it was up to the musician and the musician would sing as per his mood (and bhakti). He may make the beginning extraordinarily long filled with swars or vowels or he may introduce some singing pattern of his own. Ariyakudi Ramanuja Ayyengar brought standardised way of singing (This is what I understand). And because he was a great singer and highly respected, he was followed. It is indeed a great contribution. Even today if you see carnatic music can be practised and learnt from written materials. One can become decent carnatic musician by using internet technology. This is because of the contribution of Ariyakudi Ramanuja Ayyengar.

Then my thoughts come to Ilayaraja. MSViswanathan was already a great south Indian music director. But Ilayaraja had a western style. He could easily and effectively blend Tamil folk and Tamil music with western ideas and became popular. 

(I am not being critical of anyone. I am not denigrating any musician from any region. The thoughts are my own and I believe my source of my commenting paradigm is accuracy rather then appreciation of music. Currently I want to focus on above paragraphs only.)

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Identifying Musicians in Bollywood

If identifying music directors was easy. Then consider this. Identifying musicians !!
It is a highly "technical" subject. Only people close to Bollywood music industry can say with surety that a particular piece of music was played by such and such musician.
But I guess, there is no harm in trying. I claim that I can identify three musicians of Bollywood. Tony Vaz, Shivkumar Sharma and Hari Prasad Chaurasia.
This so called "technical" subject was learnt by me by reading and listening to interviews. Also from popular Radio Shows. Google and internet has also widened my knowledge.
However, there are some questions. Did Ramesh Iyer play guitar for other music directors apart from RDBurman? Did Gorakhbhai(brother of Pyarelal) play guitar for other music directors? What about Raj Sodha? Or Kishore Sodha? Or Nitin Shankar? And Sivamani of south?
Here is looking forward to evergreen music again and again from Bollywood. Goodbye !!

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Music Directors of last century

I promised to write on adaptation of Hindustani taals on dafli theory, in one of the other blogs. Well, it is difficult to write down. As it is more of a practice.
Instead, I am writing down the steps to follow in identifying music directors. These steps are mainly suitable for songs of 60s, 70s, 80s and to some extent 90s.
First step is to make a reasonable guess. RDBurman, SDBurman, Kalyanji-Anandji etc. Recollect the movie name or the hero or heroines. This may help you in guessing the music director. If you cannot, then move to next step.
Second step is listen to the background score. Is it loud?(Shankar-Jaikishan) Is it very beautiful and has good dhol usage?(Laxmikant-Pyarelal) Is it very beautiful and melodious?(Ravindra Jain) Does it have extensive congo and bongo usage?(Rajesh Roshan)
Third step is to understand the rhythms. Beats. Does the song have fast tempo of rhythms though song is slow?(Khayyam) Does the song feel good with the word "tururak"?(SDBurman) Does the song have consistent glass-spoon, tabla rhythms? (RDBurman)
Fourth step is to understand the melody(tune/dhun) style. Does the melody have a Bengali touch?(SDBurman, RDBurman) Does the melody have the beauty of a muslim? (Khayyam) Does the melody have a Tata-Mumbai feel?(Rajesh Roshan) Does the melody have usage of music between two lyrical statements? (Kalyanji-Anandji)
Fifth step is to understand the connection between music directors, singers.SDBurman and Kishore Kumar. Madan Mohan and Lataji. Ravindra Jain and Hemlata. OPNayyar and Geeta Dutt etc.
Sixth step is to find the lyricist. Shailendra, Sameer, Majrooh Sultanpuri etc. Guessing the lyricist will be easy only for some. Anyways, if you have the aptitude for identifying lyricist, then you can identify the music directors too in some of the cases. Shailendra for Shankar-Jaikishan. Sameer for Nadeem-Shravan. Majrooh Sultanpuri for RDBurman etc.
60s, 70s, 80s and 90s are gone eras. So it is less sinful to post this blog post, I guess.
Mumbaikars, eat bhelpuri and have a happy new year. From a Delhi wallah (dil se !!)