28 January, 2021

Retuning Alha Udal

The lustrous versatility of film music, and change wrought by time

Retuning Alha Udal

Film music is not just about the relationship between image and music. It’s about the ties between Indian culture, tradition, way of life and music. Music had always been a part of our lives. Waking up in the morning, you would hear the puja aarti...mother humming while doing household work. The milkman and the fakir would come singing. Music was there right from daybreak—in the temple’s bells and masjid’s azaan. The gurudwara’s paath used to start as early as 4 am. Even the ice-cream vendor’s call used to be sung: “Malai wali aayi”. “Le Hapur ke papad” was the song for selling papads. The sugarcane seller used to sing: “Ye ganderiyan jo ras ki bhari hain...” Our folk music caters to every occasion and tradition. There is a song for death, for wedding, for fasts, for rakhi, for holi. That music was used in our nautankis, and in Ramlila, where a harmonium player used to appear between scenes. In the plays of Aga Hashr Kashmiri, called the Shakespeare of India, every dramatic...



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