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)   |  Copyright: india-forums.com  |  Comments 7 Comments  |  8454 Views

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 ďDum Maro DumĒ from the film ďHare Rama Hare KrishnaĒ. The western influence could be seen in Zeenat Amanís 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 actorsí 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.

Hereís 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 itís 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 canít 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 itís 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 itís not really western music. You need to understand what is western music. I do not like to call influence that todayís music has as western music. Itís not a positive influence. Today Indian film industry has a weird music of itís 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 todayís 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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Related Celebrities

Rajeev Khandelwal Rajeev Khandelwal

Ankur Nayyar Ankur Nayyar

Zeenat Aman Zeenat Aman

Lata Mangeshkar Lata Mangeshkar

Anu Kapoor Anu Kapoor

Mohammed Rafi Mohammed Rafi

  • Posted on: 24 July 2008 at 3:04pmiluvDharmesh

    ankur nayyar is my cousin :)

  • Posted on: 02 June 2007 at 1:32pmGracella

    like this! esp the Shaan & Rajeev comments!



  • Posted on: 02 June 2007 at 1:03pmanishma24


    i still prefer indian music!
    nice article

  • Posted on: 29 May 2007 at 12:39pmcrosby87

    hm i dont know about western taking over indian music, i just like punjabi music the most =)

  • Posted on: 29 May 2007 at 4:24amAnuradha

    Lovely Article - I agree to this comment of Annu Kapoor Todayís music might be a hit to listen, but they arenot a hit for listening and then humming it later.

  • Posted on: 28 May 2007 at 10:58pmpriyankap

    V V V
    yes she was she has also won awards if m nt wrong..

    thnx for the article

  • Posted on: 28 May 2007 at 8:14pmAlbela Albela

    thats a nice article.....
    but i really dont know why i think that india should stay within their own music, i mean like why do they have to copy other singers, add english music and lyrics in hindi songs, i dont know why i think that bringing english music for teenagers and youngsters is good! anywyas i should be getting this thought out of my head!

  • Posted on: 28 May 2007 at 7:46pmanonmember

    Nice Article
    I never knew Rajeshwari was a kathak dancer!

  • Posted on: 28 May 2007 at 7:45pm*Spandana*

    thanchussssss..nice article..:P

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