For Pyarelal Ramprasad Sharma, of the popular Bollywood composer duo Laxmikant-Pyarelal, new age directors lack the knowledge of music possessed by their counterparts in the Golden Era of the 60s.
The veteran director, who has composed music for over 500 films and won seven Filmfare awards, says, formal classical training should be made compulsory for everybody who wishes to compose music.
"If you listen to Himesh Reshamiya's songs, like Jhalak Dikh La Jaa or Ashiq Banaya, you can find the repetition of Mukhada atleast twenty times. This is something great music directors never did and always concentrated more on melody."
"The sur and the melody of Hindi film song is same as those of 60s and 70s but the presentation style and the priorities have changed. Nowadays the emotional bonding of the song with the listener is temporary as music directors give more attention to rhythm and beat and lose control over its melody due to the lack of knowledge," says the director.
<b1>Adding that of late, the quality of Hindi film music has seen a downfall and the timeless melodies era of music directors like Shankar-Jaikishan, Madan-Mohan, Khayyam, O P Nayyar, S D Burman will never be recreated, he says, "Today the importance of lyrics has taken a back seat and much attention is being given to sound. AR Rahman prepares his music sitting in a small room whereas in our times live orchestra used to perform for the recording."
After almost nine years, Pyarelal did a composition for Farah Khan's Om Shanti Om (OSO) and has also been approached for doing the full album for Subhash Ghai's next film. "Music director Vishal-Shekhar came to me and said that they want LP's music, the type of music that was played in the 1970s. I liked the concept and did a retro, "he says.
When asked about plagiarism in the music industry and particularly about his song Jhumma Chumma, which was a copy of Mory Kante's Tama Tama, he says, "Actually the song Jumma chumma was brought to me by Amitabh Bachchan. He wanted this song in the movie Hum. Out of the 500 odd movies that we have done, we must have copied 50 songs because of pressure," he says.
He admits that their compositions had great influence of Shankar-Jaikishan music. About his personal favourites, he comments, "I am a great fan of Shankar-Jaikishan's music. In singers, I would rate Mohammaed Rafi just ahead of Kishore Kumar."
LP worked with almost all notable filmmakers including Raj Kapoor, Dev Anand, Feroze Khan, B.R. Chopra, Shakti Samanta, Manmohan Desai, Yash Chopra, Subhash Ghai and Manoj Kumar in hit films like Dosti, Anurodh, Amar Akbar Anthony, Karz , Sargam etc, .
"Subhash Ghai, Yash Copra and Raj Kapoor are my personal favourites. Raj saab (Raj Kapoor) had a very good understanding of musical instruments and melody."
Laxmikant's death in 1998 gave Pyarelal a shock but he is not disheartened and now he is determined to continue the magic of timeless melodies they had weaved for decades.
"I never felt that Laxmiji is not with me. He was a great musician and I learnt a lot from him. I have some good offers of four-five films and I will try to do the justice with the songs."
"Main chala tha akela hi janibe manjzil magar, log aate gaye carvan banata gaya (I began my journey alone, the carvan formed as people kept joining)", he says.