Would you believe that music plays a bigger role in Indian movies than the star cast and the story line themselves? Bollywood music, or the background musical score of the movie, is what attracts people to the movie theaters. This type of harmony is also called ‘filmi’ music which in Hindi means ‘of films’. Before the movie itself is made, the songs will need to be composed first. In musicals, they are pre-recorded by professional playback singers and then lip synched by the actors while dancing.
Bollywood music has a very colorful and interesting history. It started in the 50s and 60s when the actors and actresses still sung their own songs. During the 70s and 80s, popular songwriters and singers reigned and they opened the door to ahead-of-the-time dance numbers. A transition phase highest grossing indian movies took place during the 90s when ‘filmi’ music was influenced by western harmonies. New instruments were introduced to the composition of songs adding new flavor and the term Indi-pop came to be known. Up to the present, musicians in Bollywood are still trying to make it to the western popular culture.
Remember the 2008 movie Slumdog Millionaire? The movie did not only deliver an amazing story but also awed audiences with its compelling musical scores. Though this movie was a British production, it opened the world’s eyes to India’s culture. In the hope of getting their music recognized further, Hindu academics appealed to the Grammy Awards for a category for Kirtan songs. Kirtan is a musical form commonly used in making Bollywood music.