Bollywood Instrumentals – the music mojito

Beginning of 1960’s saw many events that completely changed the landscape of Indian and International Music. The Beatles began their journey of success with singles in UK , Pt Ravi Shankar, Ustad Ali Akbar Khan , Ustad Alla Rakha have started emerging as India’s ambassadors in Classical music Internationally, Rahul Dev Burman and Laxmikant Pyarelal were still cajoling their talent to be a big name in Films Music.

While big names were changing the taste of music listeners, slowly and subtly a new genre of music was shaping from popular film music through the recording studios of HMV – Instrumental version of popular hindi film songs. it would have been an experiment to see if people appreciate the songs played on only orchestra but this experiment gave some marvels to film music which are still being relished after almost sixty years. In 1962-63 Two young and highly talented musicians Van Shipley and Enoch Daniel were the firsts to have their respective LPs released in Instrumental music. The suit was followed by many later on. Most commonly All India Radio stations used these instrumental LPs widely to play music in the time gap between their two programs or sometimes during the programs. The clubs and cafes that could not afford live bands got their much needed musical solution and the jukeboxes were stacked up with the LPs of this new sound.

These musicians re-created the popular songs with their own creativity. They either added some new music in those songs or used new instruments which changed the feel of songs. By re-designing the sound, instruments and melodic pieces, they truly made a mojito of super melodious music. In this article, lets take few of such tracks and enjoy their creative twists.

Hai Apna Dil To Awara ( by Enoch Daniel)

This track is from the album “Vintage Wines (1969)”. The two versions of Hai Apna Dil have been converged to make a new version. The pace of happy version is retained with rhythm of sad version, of course with faster beats. First Interlude is from Dev Anand’s playful version on Guitar. The main melody i.e. Mukhada and antara of song are played on Accordian but here in antara, a counter melody on Saxophone has been introduced which makes it even racier. Second interlude is played in same tune of Sad version but with lot of energy and with a flavor of Jazz.

O Mere Sona Re (by Enoch Daniel)

One of the first trend setter R.D.Burman Song transformed into an Instrumental Dance track in the 1968 album “Dance Tunes (1968)”. The track is played on Brazilian Samba Beats while the melody is amazingly crafted on Accordion, Trumpets, Clarinets and with a Saxophone in counter melody. Bass Guitar enhanced the dance tempo. Interludes have been played on electric guitar with latin jazz feel.

Tum Na Jane Kis Jahan Mein Kho Gaye (by Babla)

Much before he became disco dandia sensation, Babla began his music career with his elder brothers Kalyanji and Anandji as their assistant. He has not only been one of the finest rhythm artists of Hindi Film Music but also a fine musician. This track is from his Instrumental LP “Yesterday’s Once More (1982). The black and white classic is re-arranged with main melody on Tenor Saxophone with beautiful harmony on Piano and Strings. Rhythm is on tabla along with Bass Guitar. This track could be earliest avatar of lounge music.

Yeh Sama Sama Hai Yeh Pyar Ka (by Babla)

Again from the same Album, this track from Jab Jab Phool Khile has been re-created with complete western arrangement while keeping the original soul of composition intact. Main melody is played on Flute along with harmony on strings. The track begins with a peppy pick up on Electric Guitars and carried forward by strings and bass guitar with rhythm on drums and cymbals.

Likhe Jo Khat Tujhe (by Tabun Sutradhar)

In recent times, the charm of Instrumental Music has been revived by Tabun Sutradhar. The old classic Khoya Khoya Chand from the film Kala Bazar has been re-arranged in his Album “Rafi Hits Instrumentals Vol. 1 (2017)”. The orginal melody has been completely refreshed in contemporary style. Main melody on Saxophone along with back up on Rhythm Guitar and Interlude pieces composed on Electric Guitar and Strings. The feel of the song is maintained for soft listening.

The attempt of this article is to explore the forgotten creative work of musicians and appreciate the genre of instrumental music. Hope you would have liked the tracks and their finer details. Looking forward to your feedback.

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