Showing posts with label raga based songs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label raga based songs. Show all posts

Saturday, 4 July 2020

The Sound of Shehnai in Bollywood Songs


Shehnai is a wind instrument usually played in the folk music of North India and has very strong associations with weddings, where it is considered especially lucky. It is also played when the bride leaves his father's place but this time it sounds sad.
Shehnai and Ustad Bismillah Khan have become a synonym in India. He is credited with exceptional skill and with classical music in Hindi film songs, this instrument became a part of many songs, to some reviewers and fans, came as close to making the instrument "talk" as is possible. Surprisingly he played this instrument in only one film "Goonj Uthi Shenai" released in 1959. Dave Mason plays one on The Rolling Stones' 1968 song "Street Fighting Man."
The film narrates the story of a Shehnai player and features shehnai recitals by maestro Ustad Bismillah Khan throughout the film. There is also Jugalbandi between him and Sitar player, Abdul Halim Jaffar Khan.
The film opens, naturally, with music, as Raghunath Maharaj (Ulhas) is doing his riyaz (musical practice) in a temple. Suddenly he is accompanied by the melodious, dulcet tones of a shehnai. He goes to check who the player is, and discovers it's a young boy, Kishan. The overjoyed musician immediately takes Kishan home, and under his wing, to train him in the ways of music.







Song of Goonj Uthi Shehnai 1959
Lata Mangeshkar sang this song beautifully and wonderfully! Every single word of this song is excellent The Shehnai of Ustad Bismillah Khan added beauty to this beautiful song! Right from Lataji's "mmmm", immediately followed by Ustad Bismillah Khan's heavenly shehnai and Lataji's alaap, this melodious song leads the listener into sheer aural bliss.

This song starts with a prelude of Shehnai by Ustad Bismillah Khan.
Song of Goonj Uthi Shehnai 1959






                    Raga - Kedar - Jugalbandi-2 Goonj Uthi Shehnai




The same year Dhool Ka Phool was released, in this film composer, N Dutta in the following song Shehnai was beautifully played, not by Ustad Bismillah Khan. 
Song of Dhool Ka Phool 1959

The credit for introducing Shehnai io Bollywood goes to composer Ram Ganguli, who brought Musician and composer Ram Lal from Varanasi/ He was a flute & shehnai player. He was his disciple Initially he was working for Prithvi Theatre when Ram Ganguli gave the music for the first film of RK Banner released in 1948, Ramlal played flute & shehnai in that film "Aag". He played Shehnai for the first time in the song "Zinda Hoon ls Tarah"

Song of Aag 1948

Ramlal's shehnai can be enjoyed in the song "Tu Chhupi Hai Kahan, Mein Tadapta Yahan" of 1958 film Navrang released in 1959. 



Song of Navrang 1959

Ramlal ji was employed with V Shantaram after Prithvi Theatre, he was a musician for his films composed by Vasant Desai or C Ramchandra. He was given charge of composing the music of V Shantaram's film Sehra in 1963. In this film, he composed the music as well as played Shehnai in the song" Taqdeer Ka Fasaana" sung by Mohammad Rafi. This solo Shehnai played by him can never be forgotten. Enjoy the song and feel the pain through Shenai



Song of Sehra 1963


Before Goonj Uthi Shehnai, this instrument was also used by Salil Chowdhary in Bimal Roy's film Naukari in 1954, in the following song by Geeta Dutt



Song of Naukri 1954


Naushad also used this instrument in a song of Shabab released in the same year,1954



Song of Shabab 1954


This instrument is beautifully explained in the song "Kya Ajab Saaz Hai Yeh Shehnai" sung by Mohammad Rafi, written by Rajendra Krishan for the 1964 film "Shehnai"
Song of Shehnai 1964

The Shehnai is mostly played to greet someone on a happy occasion but also played at a time when the bride leaves the house of her parents after marriage.  The opening shehnai of “Babul Ki Duaaen” feels as if someone is crying, reflecting the sadness of a father’s loss. This song is usually played by the bands in almost all the Bidai ceremony of North Indian Families.

Song of Neel Kamal 1968

Before this song, "Chal Ri Sajni Ab Kya Soche " from Bombai Ka Babu (1960) was the most popular Bidai song A beautiful piece of "Taar Shahnai" played by Dakshina Mohan Tagore. Taar Shehnai is not a Shehnai but produces the sound of Shehnai. For the knowledge of readers, I must submit that Taal Shenai is a rare instrument. D.M. Tagore preferred to play rare instruments. He was a master in Taar Shehnai, Mandar Bahar, and Territ Vina.

Song from Bombai Ka Babu 1960


Naushad used Shehnai very beautifully in the song "Pi Ke Ghar Aaj Pyari Dulhaniya Chali " from the 1957 film Mother India, I don't think he used the shehnai in any of his earlier songs.
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Song of Mother India 1957

In the year 1957 composer Chitragupt used Shehnai in this immortal song




Song of Bhabhi 1957

Another beautiful song in which you can listen to the sound of shehnai after the Mukhada.



Song of Aarti 1962

In 1976 shehnai was played in the song of Kabhi Kabhie just after the antara "Suhag raat hai ghoonghat uth raha hoon mein"



Song of Kabhie Kabhie 1976

Nowadays the sound of most of the Indian instruments has vanished from Bollywood music, Shehnai is also one of them. Very rarely the present composers use Shehnai or Sitar. A R Rehman is an exception. he used Shehnai in the song “Ye Jo Des Hai Tera” from the movie “Swades” 

Song of Swades 2004

The shehnai played in the prelude as well as in the background is played by Pandit Ballesh. He is a big name in Shehnai, He is an internationally acclaimed Shehnai player and Hindustani Classical vocalist with a specialization in Patiala Gharana and is trained in Kirana and Gwalior Gharana.  He is one of the well-known disciples of world-renowned Shehnai Maestro Bharat Ratna Ustad Bismillah Khan. Ustad ji blessed Pt. Ballesh as “Dakshina Bharat Bismillah Khan”.  
He has worked with O. P. Nayyar, Naushad Ali, Laxmikant-Pyarelal, Ravindra Jain, Jatin-Lalit, Kalyanji-Anandji, Anand-Milind, R. D. Burman, Kailash Kher in Bollywood. Pt. Ballesh played Shehnai in the Bollywood movie “Rockstar” for the track titled “The Dichotomy of fame” Shammi Kapoor is shown playing Shehnai in this film.


















Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Raga Based Songs of Kishore Kumar


We all know that Kishore Kumar never received any typical classical training yet proved with every song that he was in no way lesser than any of his contemporaries of the ‘Golden era’.
During his earlier career as an actor, not many opportunities came his way to sing songs based on classical ragas. Even there were many occasions when the music directors chose to have him lip-sync to Mohammed Rafi and Manna Dey as they were classically trained and so these music directors felt that Kishore Kumar may not do justice to the particular songs based on classical ragas.
In this post I bring to you some memorable Kishore Kumar solos based on different ragas.
The first song in my list is Koi Humdum Na Raha Koi Sahara Na. This song was originally composed by Khurshid Minocher-Homji, better known as Saraswati Devi, the first female composer of Bollywood, and sung by Kishore’s elder brother Ashok Kumar in Jeevan Naiya (1936). However, 25 years later, Kishore da crooned this melody based on Raag Jhinjhoti for his film, Jhumroo.
Song of Jhumroo 1961


Song of  Ek Raaz (1963)

Song of Door Gagan Ki Chaon Mein (1964)


Song of Khamoshi (1970)


Song of Safar (1970)


Song of Sharmilee 1971


Song of  Gambler (1971)


Song of  Door Ka Raahi (1971) 


Song of  Amar Prem (1972)


Song of Anamika (1973)


Song of Chor Machaye Shor (1974)


Song of Aap Ki Kasam (1974)


Song of Mehbooba (1976)

Song of Agar Tum Na Hote (1983)




Saturday, 23 March 2019

The Great Thumris of Bollywood


Thumri is a com­mon style of light classical music.  The text is romantic and devotional in nature, and us­ually revolves around a girl's love for Krishna.  The language is a dialect of Hindi called Brij bhashaIt arose in pop­ular­ity du­ring the 19th cen­tury. It was made popular among the common people by Hindi films.
Thumris have been used in films right from the very early days of talkies. Rajkumari had sung a number of Thumris in the 30s. K L Saigal had sung a popular thumri, piya bina nahi aawat, way back in 1935, in Devdas. And who can forget, Saigal’s Baabul Mora Naihar, in 1938 movie Street Singer. 
Thumri is basically sung in a slow tempo, later a fast version of Thumri emerged called Lucknowi Thumri and another form Punjabi Thumri also emerged in Hindi films. There were many songs and singers in the 40s and 50s where Thumri became popular.
One name that truly epitomizes the Hindustani classical music of the 20thcentury is that of Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan. Often touted as Tansen of the 20thcentury, this musical genius blended the best of classical music and created a unique style of his own. Some of the famous Thumri are ‘Yaad Piya Ki Aaye’, ‘Aaye Na Balam’ and ‘Prem Ke Phande Men’.
Begum Akhtar was another great singer who was known as the Queen of Ghazal but was also a great Thumri performer.
Here I am giving a few of the Thumris from the Hindi films:
Song of Street Singer 1934


Song of Devdas 1935


Song of Bharthari 1944


Nirmala Devi


Song of Shabab 1954


Song of Naubahar 1954


Song of Musafir 1957


Song of Kala Pani 1958


Song of Rani Roopmati 1959


Song of Mughal e Azam 1960


Song of Mughal e Azam 1960


Song of Dil Hi To Hai 1963


Song of Dooj Ka Chand 1964


Song of Pakeezah 1971


Song of Amar Prem 1972


Song of Swami 1977


Song of Mein Tulsi Tere Aangan Ki 1978


Song of Kudrat 1981










Saturday, 12 January 2019

The Raga based Bollywood Songs- Raga Pahadi Part-1


I must appreciate the Musicologist and bureaucrat KL Pande who compiled 14000 Raga based Hindi film songs in a book in 7 volumes. The most interesting thing he noticed that The use of ragas in Indian cinema kept changing with films and composers. “In the ’30s and ’40s, there was extensive use of Raag Kafi and Khamaj as these correspond to serious moods of mythological films. You won’t see a lot of sweet-sounding ragas such as Bhairavi and Pahadi. They appeared in the ’50s and ’60s with the advent of composers like Shankar-Jaikishan and Lakshmikant-Pyarelal,
In this blog I have selected a few songs based on Raga Pahari. This Raga is the most popular Raga used in Hindi film songs.
Song of Anmol Ghadi 1946

Song of Dulari 1949


Song of Baazi 1950


Song of   Albela 1951


Song of  Udan Khatola 1955


Song of Chaudavin Ka Chand 1960


Song of Aarti 1962


Song of Shola Aur Shabnam 1961


Song of TajMahal1963


Song of Dosti 1964


Song of  Kashmir Ki Kali 1964


Song of Waqt 1965


Song of Mamta 1966


Song of Aradhana 1969



Friday, 4 January 2019

The Great Raga Based Songs of R D Burman


R D Burman has been credited with revolutionizing Bollywood music. He incorporated a wide range of influences from several genres in his scores. The sheer breadth of his music, allied with a unique ability to not only make folk and classical music accessible to the modern listener, but present them in an original, yet contemporary manner for young listeners.
 While we mostly associate a more western sound with RD, I think of him as a composer who simplified the most complex Hindustani classical music and made it accessible to the masses. Here are some great Raga based songs created by him.
The first film R D Burman gave the music was Chhote Nawab released in 1961. The first song he composed in this film was  Ghar Aaja Ghir Aayi Badra in Raga Malgunji sung by Lata Mangeshkar.


Song of Chhote Nawab 1961


Song of Chandan Ka Palna 1967



Song of Amar Prem (1972)



Song of  Parichay (1973)



Song of Kinara 1975



Song of Mehbooba (1976)



Song of Khoobsurat 1980



Song of Kudrat (1981)



Song of Agar Tum Na Hote (1984)