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Book on Bollywood music history

The History of Indian Film Music traces music from the early 1930s to 2009.

books Updated: Feb 04, 2010 20:53 IST
Zeba Siddiqui

Can you imagine Bollywood without music? Music has been an integral part of Bollywood for years now. There have been numerous CDs with recordings of Indian music, from the classics to the contemporary. For the first time, all of it has been recorded in a book.

Rajiv Vijayakar’s

The History of Indian Film Music: A Showcase of the Very Best in Hindi Cinema

, traces the trends, which have shaped Hindi film music, from the early 1930s to 2009. With the amount of information and the detailing that the book entails, it’s obvious that a lot of research went into it. As Vijaykar explains, “My 16 years of experience as a film journalist was one of the main reasons I was approached to write this book. Because of my knowledge on the subject and a little bit of research, I was able to finish it within three weeks.”

The decade-wise approaches, Quick Reference, Did You Know and other such music trivia boxes attempt to give a reader-friendly feel to the book. “A special chapter at the end gives an overview of the trends, both good and bad, that influenced Hindi film music. There was a time when a lot of double-meaning lyrics were being used and when composers were habitually giving breaks to new talents. The book discusses all this at length”, explains Vijaykar.

A fan of Hindi film music since the age of five, Rajiv has closely followed the changes that have taken place over the years. He says, “Earlier, composers made incident-based music for movies, with lyrics pertaining to them. But in this age of mobile ringtones, club parties and Indo-western fusions, the dholaks and tablas of the ’60s and ’80s have been replaced by guitars and drums. Music is being made only for ‘hits’.”

However, Vijaykar clarifies that the book is solely based on facts and doesn’t contain any personal opinion. “You won’t find any sayings like ‘RD Burman is God’ in the book either. Period.”