Western Music Taking Indian Music by Storm?

Taking a look at whether western music, ranging from pop to rock, has formed a huge fan base in India or not..

Tuesday, May 29, 2007 | 3:29:38 PM IST (+05:30 GMT)
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India is home to one of the popular music industries in the world. India churns out different songs and music every single day. Typical Bollywood and classical music are quite a rage back, but every now and then there are some western influences heard in Filmi songs.

Back in the 1940-1950s, classical music, like Hindustani, were quite popular in Film songs. Great singers like Lata Mangeshkar, Mohammed Rafi, and Asha Bhonsle churned out memorable songs. Come 1960-1970s, there was a heavy influence of retro and hippy in film songs, like “Dum Maro Dum” from the film “Hare Rama Hare Krishna”. The western influence could be seen in Zeenat Aman’s attire and look too.The 1980s was the decade of disco and rock-and-roll. There was a heavy influence of disco in Hindi Films, shown in the actors’ apparel and hairdo.

These days, many teenagers and youngsters are parading through the streets listening to tunes churned by Christina Aguilera, Shakira, 50-Cent, Eminem, Beyonce Knowles and many more. There is a diversion from the old classical element to the new age music. The western influence is also seen in some recent Hindi movies like BluffMaster, with AB Jr. singing a hip-hop element. More and more music directors are adopting western music beats and contemporary style and voice.

Here’s what a few telly celebrities had to say about whether western music has taken Indian Music Industry by storm or not:
Shaan, singer
I feel today Indian music has evolved it’s own specific sound. Back in the 50s or 60s, the influence was much more greater. Also, you could find a Hindi song in an original western format. Eena Meena Deeka was a complete rock and roll number. Today, you can’t categorise a song as a jazz or a rock and roll or anything specific. Sometimes they do copy a western number verbatim but actually most of them today have managed to make a distinctive Indian sound. There is a lot of use of western tunes and instruments, at the same time they manage to throw in the dholaks and the tables. I would say it’s a khichdi of both east and the west. That is why I say it can be simply be termed as bollywood music.
Rajeshwari, actress and kathak dancer:
See, world is coming closer and shrinking. Obviously when people from different zones connect, their cultures overlap, hence music will also overlap. What you get to see today is a result of a world that is becoming global and Indian music is simply a part of it.
Anu Kapoor, music expert and Antakshri host:
Indian music getting influenced by western music, yes, but it’s not really western music. You need to understand what is western music. I do not like to call influence that today’s music has as western music. It’s not a positive influence. Today Indian film industry has a weird music of it’s own which cannot be classified as anything. There was a lot of influence in the yesteryear songs and it is not that the music directors in those times never ripped off a tune, but still, there was a lot of originality, lot of melody and harmony. Today, the state is such that the whole focus is on orchestration, so much so that you cannot sing any song without the orchestra. So today’s music might be a hit to listen, but they arenot a hit for listening and then humming it later.

Rajeev Khandelwal, actor:

As far as the influence of western music on Indian tunes goes, it is an age old trend which has only been stepped up now. But non film westernized hindi pop music has now become the rage of the nation.

Ankur Nayyar, actor:

The hindi music now has guitars and many more instruments which are all western. We even have rock or soft rock music now in hindi music. The fact is that music has no boundaries. You just like it so listen to it.

The celebrities above sure have things one could ponder about as the stars share what they think about western music influencing Indian music. Whether slowing lurking without being noticed or taking over with one blow, the influence of western music is surely seen in today's Indian Music. Looks like the influence of the west has come to stay in the east.

Reporter: Barnali, Minnie
Author: Natasha I.
Contact Author: PM Natasha_I

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Posted on: 02 June 2007 at 1:03pm
hmmi still prefer indian music!
nice article

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Posted on: 29 May 2007 at 12:39pm
hm i dont know about western taking over indian music, i just like punjabi music the most =)

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Posted on: 29 May 2007 at 4:24am
Lovely Article - I agree to this comment of Annu Kapoor Today’s music might be a hit to listen, but they arenot a hit for listening and then humming it later.

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Posted on: 28 May 2007 at 10:58pm
yes she was she has also won awards if m nt wrong..

thnx for the article

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Posted on: 28 May 2007 at 7:46pm
Nice Article
I never knew Rajeshwari was a kathak dancer!

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