100 Years of Indian Cinema: Music Composers

Indian movie music lovers have always cherished and commended the recurring evergreen portions of music of the grand masters. Lets have a look on some notable music composers.
Created On: Oct 24, 2013 17:39 IST

Indian movie music lovers have always cherished and commended the recurring evergreen portions of music of the grand masters. Some composers with their exclusive distinctive features in their techniques have left an ineffaceable thought on our wits. Since music has always been an essential component of Indian cinema, chiefly Hindi movies, composers of the earlier period to the present furnish it as they compose songs to gratify the demands of incalculable spectators across the country or make bespoke numbers to ensemble the situational situations in movies. From Alam Ara, the 1st Indian talkie movie, to Omkara, the recent release, Hindi movie music has seen many stalwarts wave the reputation charts in their errand.


Anil Biswas

One of the pioneers of Hindi movie music, he switched to Mumbai from Calcutta in the year 1934, and is accredited for the transfer of focus from New Theatres, Calcutta to Sagar Movitone, Mumbai, in fabrication of Hindi musicals. He primarily supported composer Ashok Ghosh in Deccan Queen and Manmohan. The well-known director-producer Mehboob Khan, primarily to contend with New Theatre movies with K. L. Saigal, produced movies with his innovation the singing star Surendra. These were chased by his music symphonies for Hum Tum Aur Who, Alibaba, Jagirdar all grand musicals created by Mehboob, with Surendra as the singing lead. Then followed, Apna Paraya, Anokha Pyar, Roti and Asra all musical hits. Kismet was his largest hit in 1940s. In 1950s he moved to Delhi for intellectual work and was chosen Vice - chancellor of Jawaharlal University. He also continued as Chief Producer at AIR. Later on, he managed music for Doordarshan’s ground-breaking television serial Hum Log and several documentaries for the movies Divisions.


Vasant Desai

He was the music composer who could simply spin around diverse circumstances of life around his easy and elegant tunes. He was a man of immense melodic insight. Who can overlook his piece of music, Aei Malik Tere Bande Hum, which is still sung as Morning Prayer in schools all over India? After performing in some movies he started his guidance in music when he was rebuffed the lead role in V. Shantarams Admi. Paradoxically, it was Shantaram, who gave him smash as music director in the movie. The movie was a hit of those times. After Shakuntala’s awe-inspiring victory, Vasant Desai became a component of V. Shantaram’s Rajkamal Studio. He gave cherished music for Do Aankhen Barah Haath & Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baje. He composed music for fourteen movies in 1940s together with the hit films, Dr. Kotnis Ki Amar Kahani, Parbat Pe Apna Dera, Jivan Yatra, Udhar and Ram Joshi. In 1950s, Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baje, Goonj Uthi Shehnai and Do Aankhen Barah Haath were his most admired movies. Desai used pure folk, theatrical and classical music entirely for these movies.


Naushad Ali

Recognized as one of the supreme music directors of Indian cinema, Naushad Ali moved to Mumbai in the 1930s from Lucknow to seek his fate as a musician. He truly had to kick hard before he connected with Khemchand Prakash, music director, as his assistant. The movie Prem Nagar was his first break as autonomous composer but he got noted with Sharda in which Suraiya did the playback for Mehtab. Sawan Ke Badlo movie became the most admired song of that time. Every movie Naushad composed for in 1940s was an immense musical hit. Naushads utmost contribution was to fetch classical music of India into the movie medium.


Ghulam Haider

An early music composer of grand status, Ghulam Haider had the peculiarity of functioning both in Pakistan and India. He started his profession as a music composer in Lahore with Gul Bakawali, an immediate hit. Merging admired ragas with the affluent dynamism and pace of Punjabi music, Haider guaranteed the Indian music would by no means be the same again. He switched to Mumbai in the year 1944 where he worked for movies like Phool, Chal Chal Re Naujawan, Bairam Khan, Shama and Humayun. His best known compositions are sung by Shamshad Begum and raised Punjabi folk song. Who can overlook the nationalistic song Watan Ki Rah Par Watan Ke Naujawan Shaheed Ho? Later on, he drifted to Pakistan where he passed away in the year 1953.



Khayyam’s full name was Mohammed Zaheer Khayyam Hashmi. He evolved reminiscences of comforting, lilting pieces of music. Since 1940, the expert composer has done movies at his swiftness less than 1 film a year. Thinking of Kabhi Kabhie, Footpath, Razia Sultan, Khayyam and Umrao Jaan evokes nostalgic memories in music lovers. Khayyam became a household name with his songs in Footpath, Lala Rukh, Mohabbat Isko Kehte Hain, Shola Aur Shabnam, Shagun, Phir Subah Hogi and Aakhri Khat. Yet, his all time supreme harmonious is Umrao Jaan, which fetched magnificence not only to him but also for Asha Bhonsley for her striking interpretation of the songs unruffled by Khayyam.


S. D. Burman

The all-rounder in Indian music, S. D. Burman could be uniformly elegant and glitzy. His grasp on Indian myths, his sound conventional pedestal, his capability to soak up from the scene around him completed him in high demand precisely till the last stage of his life. Originally a music director in Kolkata in 1930s, he switched to Mumbai in the year 1944. His 1st main breakthrough appeared in Filmistan’s Do Bhai. S. D. Burman’s brilliant movies include Shabnam, Do Bhai, Bahar, Baazi, Taxi Driver, Jaal, Munimji, Devdas, Paying Guest, Nau Do Gyarah, Kala Paani, Chalti Ka Naam Gaadhi, Kagaz Ke Phool, Lajwanti, Bombai Ka Babu, Sujata, Bandini, Kala Bazar, Jewel Thief, Guide, Sharmilee, Abhiman and Aradhna.


Madan Mohan

Madan Mohan was an eminent music director of golden era of Indian music. He is chiefly memorized for ghazals he composed for Indian film industry, mostly by means of the voice of India’s melody queen, Lata Mangeshkar. After supporting S. D. Burman for a squat time, Madan Mohan attained his 1st giant break with the movie Aankhein. This movie saw the commencement of a long venture with Lata Mangeshkar. When Madan Mohan composed the beautiful song Aap Ki Nazron Ne from the film Anpadh, Naushad Ali complimented him saying, “Let me have this ghazal and obtain all my compositions in return”. In the year 2004, his son Sanjeev Kohli reconstructed Madans fallow tunes for Yash Chopra’s blockbuster movie Veer Zara.


 R. D. Burman

It was R. D. Burman who escorted in the epoch of electronic astound, providing Indian film music with an entire novel occurrence resonance. His modish and lively childish compositions showed tremendously accepted from 1960s till the mid 1980s providing a great deal of the music that classifies the status of singers Kishore Kumar and Asha Bhonsle. R.D. Burman entered movies supporting his father S. D. Burman, and sporadically composed a harmony for Sar Jo Tera Chakraye from the movie Pyasa. Even as R.D. Burman became a popular icon with movies like Jawani Dewani, Apna Desh, Khel Khel Mein, Hum Kisi Se Kam Nahin and Yadon Ki Baraat, he teamed up with director - writer Gulzar to give such reminiscent masterpieces like Is Mod Se Jaate Hein, Beeti Na Bitayi Raina, O Manjhi Re.


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