Hindi songs, from time immemorial, have been defining and redefining the Indian cinema. To be precise, it was in the year 1931 India’s first sound film Alam Ara came into being, and since then Hindi songs are a mainstay even today.
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that history of Indian cinema and Hindi film songs are intertwined in a common thread. Evolution of both forms has grown leaps and bounds in the past 100 years and continues to change and grow in the same wavelength. Therefore, If you have to trace the history of Indian cinema, one only needs to look at the history of Hindi film songs and its various moods, styles and nuances.
Hindi songs are an integral part of Indian cinema. It is one of the essential cogs right at the centre of the wheel which pushes the cinema industry forward. The entertainment and music wizards who followed the industry have a very interesting take on the connection between songs and cinema in India. According to these experts, previously, movie production in India did not begin with a story or a script as it is the case in other film industries. It always started by recording a song.
The popular story writers were the lyricist and they used to jot down songs as the film and the production used to progress. Therefore, the first thing the audience would know about a film were the songs. Such was the importance of songs in Indian cinema.
In the early decades of Indian cinema, a single film used to contain on an average 5 songs. Most often, it was the songs that determined the success and failure of a film. The song sequences played a crucial role in advancing the story and helped intensify the mood of a certain scene. These trends are still followed in Indian movies.
As the years went by, song composition by composers and playback singing became popular. Musicians with classical training and background along with singers became a necessary part of every film project. Many well-known music composers such as Shankar-Jaikishan, Kalyan Ji-Anand Ji, S.D Burman and Naushad created some of the biggest hit songs of the era that defined and set the mood of every film in India.
The role of playback singers became significant. As actors shined in the film, their singing style was equally matched by talented singers. In the league were singing stars like Mukesh, Manna Dey, Mohammed Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar, Kishore Kumar, Geeta Dutt, Asha Bhosle who made it big in the period between 1940s and 1980s.
This way Hindi songs became an aesthetic as well as the commercial necessity for Indian films. An iconic movie like Barsaat in 1949 is a great example. Directed and acted by Raj Kapoor, the film had 11 songs. It became one of the greatest hits in the history of Indian cinema, thanks to its melodious and awe-inspiring songs. This trend has continued till today. All great movies are remembered for their best songs composed and sung by legends. Therefore, every conversation that revolves around India cinema stretches and covers Hindi songs as well.
What about the popular actors of Indian cinema? In every era, the actors achieved stardom due to their looks, acting skills and the singers who sang for them. From Dev Anand, Dileep Kumar and Rajesh Khanna to Amitabh Bachchan, Shahrukh Khan and Salman Khan, the magnificent and memorable songs have played a major role in making them undisputed legends and superstars.
Moreover, songs have always played a vital role in making thought-provoking cinema. Whether it was India’s post-colonial mood, poverty, the romance of the 1960s & 70s or India’s young population demanding growth and prosperity, songs were always supportive of film stories and made them more effective.
The nostalgia of the old Hindi songs even in 2021 among people shows its power and class. Several Bollywood movies today are using old golden hits as well. What’s more, even Hollywood movies have started using Hindi songs and music. This proves the influence of Hindi songs on Indian cinema and even the global movie industry.
Listen to your favourite old Hindi songs on Saregama Carvaan. The portable digital audio player comes with 5000 evergreen Hindi songs. The retro collection of pre-loaded songs are categorized into stations like lyricists, actors, singers, and music composers. Carvaan also offers specially curated stations such as Romance, Sad, Gurbani, Ghazal, Bhakti songs and more.
Saregama Carvaan can be used as a home radio as the option for tuning in to FM/AM is available. Other highlights include Bluetooth and AUX-IN cable to connect your phone or tablet to Carvaan. The premium retro look, extensive library of Hindi songs and ease-of-use makes it the perfect gift for you and your loved ones.
Angela is a senior editor at Dreniq News. She has written for many famous news agencies.