Apr 22, 2009

The Music Maestros | Bollywood music

As the title suggests, this blog is about A.R.Rehman and R.D.Burman

No, i am not comparing them. How can I? Both are maestros of their times. One got an Oscar, the other deserved one. But, what's the difference? There has to be one. Panchamda never had the luxury of using so many instruments for composition and recording. It is also true that you need to be a Rehman to be able to use them effectively. Else, you get an Anu Malik or a Sajid-Wajid. So there has to be that something extra about Panchamda. What is it? Read ..

"Par mein jaagun. Ek khumari. Ek Nasha sa."
These lines are from Dil Gira Dafartan (Dilli-6). Music composed by the legendary A.R.Rehman.
"Aanewala pal, janewala hai. Ho sake to isme, zindagi bita do." And this is the starting of a song from Golmaal. Music composed by the great great R.D.Burman.

I love both the songs. But observing them closely lead to a revelation, which is "sense of lyrics". Singing the first song would not make much meaning unless you sit down and connect it with the previous and following lines. The same is not true with the second song. Panchamda always kept the meaning at the center and used excellent melodies, limited instruments and charm in singing to make them unforgettable. To be honest, Rehman doesn't give too much priority to the sense making of the lyrics. I am not saying that the lyrics doesn't make sense. What i mean is that the lyrics are roped in the songs in such a way that while singing you don't feel attached to the meaningfulness of lyrics. So what do you get attached to?

Lets take an example: Masakkali from Dilli-6 again:

You get attached to the basic melody, the brilliant work of instruments to enhance the melody (the start of song with a matka and a mouth organ (correct me)), the flow of song, the changing scales, the words in lyrics (dikhlade thenga) and the throw of words (Matakkali). But the overall sense of lyrics is always not in the center.

One more important point to be noted here is that the basic melody is similar to "aye udi udi" from Saathiya. He does that time and again. But the treatment of the song is so different that you don't even think about it. I am a big fan of his quawwalis and sufi songs. Here's an eye opener; all the songs have one similarity:

"Khwaja mere Khwaja, Dil mein samaja", Noor un ala, Noor un ala", "Piya haji ali, Piya haji ali", "Maula - Maula, Maula mere Maula"

Need i say more?


PS: Don't take this as a gentle criticism. Pun intended :)



MisguidedAngel said...

With all due respect to Pachamda's talent, i can't resist to mention here that some of his hit songs are "intelligent" rip-offs of foreign numbers, ex- Mere sapno ki rani - plagiarism masterpiece. Mahbooba from Sholay, Chura liya hai tumne, Jaane to ya jaane na and many more...

I was heartbroken to know Katra Katra from Ijaazat is also a theft :(

And about Rahman, no such thing has been revealed until now (& hopefully no such thing will exist)

Although, I totally agree with the content of your blog. Rahman focusing too much on instruments & techno and lyrical content being sidelined in the compositions.

Vinay said...

For A.R.Rehman, i don't know about hindi .. but for plagiarism in tamil, visit:


Ravi Lobo said...

Interesting article. Never thought in this angle. After reading the article - I agree with your views.

Vinay said...

@ Ravi: being a die-hard Rehman fan, it was not an easy to digest find :P

Varun said...

the instrument used in masakalli is - the MELODEON or the PIANICA...:)