SONGS have always been the mainstay of Hindi cinema.When we listen to a good song its obvious that we appreciate the singer,lyricist and the music composer of that song but the people behind the scenes who have made a particular song a huge hit remain unknown. They include various musicians who form the orchestra and arrangers who write down the notations both in the Western and Indian styles, direct the musicians and conduct the orchestra during the recording of the songs.
There was always a curiosity in me to bring to the forefront the real unsung heroes behind the creation of great Hindi film songs. Before that we should know what is an arranger.The primary role of Arranger is to arrange a piece of music based on the needs or requirements of a performer, a group of performers, a conductor, producer or music director. The arranger makes sure that every aspect of a music piece is well harmonized, from the instruments down to the tempo.
The core of a tune, or composition, is the melody which is created by the music director.Next comes the role of the arranger who decides what instruments, including singing voices, to use.He then decides how to notate the music, including what meter to notate the music.He then decides on interpretation(s) of the melody/-ies in terms of rhythmical and tonal variations,phrasing,embellishments,articulation etc.All of this is notated in sheet music then add parts for the banks of strings, the horn sections, the piano and the percussion.
When Hindi film music entered a period of rapid evolution during the Second World War, composers realized that the small groups they’d previously used could not effectively convey the drama unfolding on screen. So they formed large orchestras that ranged dholaks and sitars along with banks of violins, swathes of trumpets and a Hawaiian guitar or two. Since not many musicians from other communities knew how to play saxophones or clarinets, Goans came to form the bulk of the orchestras.
Before that composers would rehearse their groups (which usually had fewer than 10 musicians) until they’d memorized their parts before leading them into recording sessions.
Most of the Hindi film composers were trained in the Hindustani classical tradition, they were not good in writing the music. But if the members of an orchestra were to play in unison and the tone colour of their instruments was to be employed most effectively, they needed to read the notes off scores, with each musician’s role clearly laid out. That task was usually given to a Goan ‘arranger’.
It was a usual practice those days whenever a song to be made the producer would organise a ‘sitting’ at which the composer (most often a Hindu), the lyricist (usually an Urdu-speaking Muslim) and the arranger would flop down on comfortable cushions to listen to the director narrate the plot. When the director indicated the point at which a song was necessary, the composer would hum out a melody or pick it out on his harmonium. It was the arranger’s task to note down these fragments, which the composer would later piece together into an entire song.
The Hindi film classics that resound across the subcontinent and in Indian homes around the world wouldn't have been made without Goan musicians. Their dominance of the Hindi film world is partly a function of the structural differences between Indian and Western music. Indian classical music is melodic. The ragas that form the basis of Indian music are unilinear, each instrument or vocalist exploring an independent line. To move an audience, film scores must be performed by orchestras, with massed instruments playing in harmony. Only Goans, with their training in Western music, knew how to produce what was required.
Frank Fernand was among the first Goans in Bollywood and assisted such worthies as Anil Biswas, Hemant Kumar , Kishore Kumar, Roshan, C. Ramchandra and others. Raj Kapoor's 'Barsat' was his major assignment with Shankar Jaikishan.His last assignment in the Hindi film industry was as the first assistant of Kalyanji Anandji.He assisted them in Johny Mera Naam, Don, Hera Pheri, Zanjeer and Victoria No. 203
Anthony Gonsalves was another Music arranger of that time.He found his first job in the city as a violinist in the group of the composer Naushad in 1943. He taught the violin to R.D. Burman and Pyarelal Ramprasad Sharma (of the Laxmikant Pyarelal duo) and has worked with most of the legendary composers of the 1950s and 1960s. A few examples of his work are B.R. Chopra (Naya Daur, Waqt), Naushad (Dillagi), and Chetan Anand (Haqeeqat). The song "My Name Is Anthony Gonsalves" was Pyarelal's tribute to his violin Teacher.
Antonio Xavier Vaz famously known as Chic Chocolate was from Aldona. He assisted C. Ramchandra, who is popularly credited with having introduced swing into Bollywood. Tunes like Ina Mina Dika from Aasha and Gore Gore O Banke Chore from Samadhi bear Chic's unmistakable signature. His stamp is also audible on the Cuban percussion opening of Shola Jo Bhadke, a tune from Albela. Chic and the Music Makers made an appearance in the film in the song's picturisation, with Chic seen smiling into the camera..
Sebastian D'Souza was one of the most reputed arrangers in Bollywood. His first break was with O. P. Nayyar. The first tune he arranged was Pritam Aan Milo, which was sung by C. H. Atma in 1955. He devised a system of notation that incorporated the micro tones that characterised Indian melodies.He did his best-known work with the duo of Shankar-Jaikishan between 1952 and 1975.
Cawas Lord He came to Bombay to learn music. Apart from joining Chic Chocolate, which was one the most famous Jazz bands, as a drummer Cawas Lord was also the part of the British touring party for their troops during World War II before his Jazz journey. As a part of the Jazz group, Lord would play at several clubs in the city including the Taj Mahal Hotel where C Ramchandra spotted him, and took him along for recordings.
He introduced many instruments such as the bongo and the congo to hindi film industry.Lord worked full-time in Bollywood. Every third song had Lord playing an instrument or the other.He had 2 sons Kersi lord and Bujji Lord both became great arrangers.Among the Lord family’s contributions to Hindi film music was the glockenspiel, which was used for the famous song Mein zindagi ka saath (composed by Jaidev) in Hum Dono.
Kersi Lord At the age of 13 Kersi started working as musician.He used to come with his father at the recordings,his genius was visible at that young age Naushad gave him work at that age. Naushad saab would send a car so that Kersi would go to school after the recording.Very soon he became adept at many instruments, from Latin American percussion to the accordion to electronica-he was responsible for bringing the Moog synthesizer into Hindi film music. This was a perfect fit for the new generation of music directors emerging on the scene in the late 1960s and early ’70s, such as Rahul Dev Burman.
Kersi earned repute for accordion pieces (Roop Tera Mastana from Aradhna), he also introduced the glockenspiel to the industry. He played the minimoog (monophonic analog synthesizer), which was one of the few electronic instruments played.His touch can also be heard in songs like Chura Liya Hai Tumne. R D Burman
Chris Perry he was an exceptionally gifted trumpeter, but he was also at ease with blowing instruments as saxophone, trumpet and flute as well as finger instruments like keyboard, piano and guitar.He became famous by introducing jazz music into hindi songs and he is credited with taking Konkani popular music to a new level.He served the film industry for twenty-five years as assistant to many Hindi film music directors. He performed in many Hindi films notably in Kabhi Kabhi and Trishul. He formed a band and they played at hotels in the major Indian cities.
N. Datta started his film career as a music assistant of the great composer S D Burman and Ghulam Haider.. Datta assisted Dada Burman in a number of films. Datta was very impressed with the revolutionary songs of lyricist Sahir Ludhiyanvi. When Datta got his first chance to compose independently for Raj Khosla's Milaap (1955), he insisted for Sahir as the lyricist. The result was some very beautifully songs like 'Ye Baharon Ka Sama..' (Hemant,Lata), 'Jaate Ho To Jaao Par Jaoge Kahan..' (Geeta), etc. The music of Milaap became so popular that Datta came into the category of film industry's most eminent musicians.
Manhori Singh was an Indian saxophonist and was the main arranger of seminal film composer R. D. Burman. He along worked with Basudeb Chakraborty as music composers, the duo also popularly known as Basu-Manohari. His first break in the Hindi film industry was in 1958 with Sachin Dev Burman, as a saxophonist for the movie Sitaron Se Aage. But it was this super-hit song Tumhe Yaad Hoga, in Kalyanji Anandji’s ‘Satta Bazaar’ (1959), in which he played the saxophone solo, which caught everyone’s attention. He went on to play with many other music directors but his strongest association being with R.D. Burman, Manohari played on the well-known hit "Gaata Rahe Mera Dil", composed by S.D. Burman, from the movie Guide.Before saxophone he used to play Flute.Even in 1967, well after he became famous for the distinct sound of his sax, Singh contributed a flute strain to the song “Ek haseen shaam ko”, from the film Dulhan Ek Raat Ki—a sweet snippet that seems to respond playfully to the Mohammad Rafi’s voice.
Singh experimented initially with all three varieties of saxophone—the alto, the tenor, and the soprano; in fact, one of his most famous solos, in Sholay’s “Mehbooba mehbooba”, is the product of a soprano sax. But his nimble technique was most suited to the alto sax. The alto sax “is mainly used for infusing melody
In songs such as “Huyi shaam unka khayal” (from the film Mere Humdum Mere Dost) or “Huzoor-e-wala” (from Yeh Raat Phir Na Aayegi), he sustained notes with impeccable vibrato, making his music throb with feeling. Often his solos were riffs on the main melody, as in “Yahi woh jagah hai” (also from Yeh Raat Phir Na Aayegi), launching off from the melody into their own terrain before returning neatly to the theme.
Marutirao Keer. he started his career as Tabla player. His gurus were Shree Bhanudas Mankame, Shree Bhairav Prasad, Shree Sunder Prasad & Ustad Gamekhan Sahab. Marutirao played almost for all music directors (except SJ as per him). Almost all the tablas heard in marathi filmi and non-filmi songs have been played by him. He started playing for Dada Burman (S.D. Burman) and then with Pancham. There were times when both of them were assisting Dada Burman.
Pancham and Marutirao used to always look for something new, something creative in the rhythm side. It may be the style of playing or it could be introduction of new instrument TUMBA, The legendary TUMBA played in “Aya Hoon Main Tujhko Le Jaunga” from Manoranjan is a classic example of his rhythmic playing.His mastery over tabla also reflects in his playing for GUIDE’s “Piya Tose Naina Lage Re”.
Uttam Singh He has worked as a violinist, music arranger and music director for many Bollywood films. He worked as a music arranger for Ilaiyaraaja in numerous Tamil films before establishing himself as an independent composer.Uttam Singh played violin for major composers including Naushad, Roshan, Madan Mohan, C. Ramchandra, Sachin Dev Burman. Later, he became the main violinist for S D Burman's son, Rahul Dev Burman.He partnered with another musician, Jagdish, to arrange music for films. The duo became reputed arrangers, working for over 65 films in several Indian languages. These films included major Rajshri Productions hits, Maine Pyar Kiya and Hum Aapke Hain Koun..
Anil Mohile he mastered the art of playing jaltarang. In fact, he was an expert in all kinds of instruments. He worked as an arranger with top music directors such as Kalyanji-Anandji, Naushad, Khayyam, Bappi Lahiri, RD Burman, Shrinivas Khale and Yashwant Deo. He arranged music for 85 films, including Amitabh Bachchan starrers Sharaabi and Don.He also arranged music for Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, Lekin and Thodi Si Bewafai .He was a permanent fixture at stage shows in India and abroad where Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle performed.
Hitesh Sonik, He worked under Vishal Bhardwaj as an assistant musician in 11 films. made his debut as a music director with Stanley Ka Dabba and Pyaar Ka Punchnama.
Sachin–Jigar music composer duo from Mumbai, India, consisting of Sachin Sanghvi and Jigar Saraiya. They compose for Bollywood and Gujarati movies. They have scored a number of successful soundtracks. Before working independently as music director duo, they were assisting Pritam in set up musical arrangements.
Jigar Saraiya was assisting Music Director Rajesh Roshan where he met Amit Trivedi. Then Amit introduced Sachin Sanghvi to Jigar. Later year they joined their hands and started assisting Pritam in set up musical arrangements.They then programmed and arranged for almost all music directors in Bollywood from the legend A.R. Rahman, Anu Malik, Nadeem-Shravan, Sandesh Shandilya, Pritam, Vishal-Shekhar etc.