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York University
MUSI 1500
Ravi Naimpally

MUSI 1500: STUDY GUIDE FOR QUIZ 1 Readings: 1. The Bombay Hindi Film Songs: A Historical Survey pp 133-141 and 164-169 2. The Values of Fantasy: Indian Popular Culture through Western Scripts pp 1-18 3. Bombay Films: The Cinema as Metaphor pp 189-320 4. The Hero as Comedian pp 183-199 5. Source of Strength or Stereotypes pp 383-390 6. Song Picturization and Choreography pp 198-208 Lectures:  1,2,3,4 Listening:  First 10 songs on listening list, professor will play 3-4 songs, identify the singer Group Presentations:  1,2,3 The Bombay Hindi Film Songs: A Historical Survey pp 133-141 and 164-169  Author: Teri Skillman  The introduction of synchronized sound film in the 1930s began the music-drama tradition of the Indian screen  Alam Ara= first Indian sound film (7 songs and instrumental accompaniment)  At first the songs were not full-length as known as today, they were short intonations of prose sung by the actor-singers  The melodies for full-length songs tended to be based on popular theatre songs derived from Indian classical and folk melodies  First decade= the theme of the film had priority over the melodic material  Song lyrics reflected the film themes= untouchability, inter-religion, marriage, poverty, caste, and social system inequality  In the late 1930s, instruments were those associated with North Indian classical music= sitar, table, harmonium, sarod, and the violin  Film songs of the 1930s were frequently referred to as light classical songs  K.L Saigal= credited with the introduction of the light classical singing style  In 1935, R.C. Boral, discovered that the solution to recording film songs for actors who could not sing was lip-synchronization or playback song  2 methods in creating playback songs o First a tune is written, and the lyrics is added later, then the story would be woven around the lyrics o Second involved imposing a song, written to fit the situation on an already completed story  The playback technique had a major influence on the social status of the song writer and the singer, they both achieved distinction equal to that of a film star  The radio was responsible for popularizing singers and film songs by making the song track available to those who could not afford it  In the 1940s, the Indian independence movement, WW2, and the unwillingness of many Indians to support the British war effort all had adverse effects on the Bombay Hindi films  The institutions which affected the film industry are: o The Indian black market o The Film Censor Board o The radio network  As a result formula films and playback songs became the trademark of Indian commercial films  Film songs became the highlight of the 1940s film  Folk songs from the northern provinces were used a melodic base for the film songs and harmony was introduced by Christian musicians from Goa  The plot was of declining importance  The shortage of raw film stock, which had to be imported from the west and the British ban on political films, led to a shift in film themes from social criticism to humours musical entertainment  With these light musical films, songs became musical entities with memorable texts and tunes  During the 1940s Bombay musical films became known as formula films o The formula film has been described as a film which has at least one if not two major stars as the hero and or the heroines, a villain, fight scenes, and approximately six songs and dances. o The films were primarily romantic In theme o The story was written to glorify the s
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