Download Behind the Curtain: Making Music in Mumbai's Film Studios by Gregory D. Booth PDF

By Gregory D. Booth

Starting within the Nineteen Thirties, males and a handful of ladies got here from India's many communities-Marathi, Parsi, Goan, North Indian, and lots of others--to Mumbai to paintings in an that constituted within the phrases of a few, "the unique fusion music." They labored as composers, arrangers, assistants, and studio performers in a single of the main precise renowned song and well known movie cultures on this planet. this day, the songs performed through Mumbai's studio musicians are identified all through India and the Indian diaspora less than the preferred identify "Bollywood," however the musicians themselves stay, of their personal phrases, "behind the curtain"--the nameless and unseen performers of 1 of the world's such a lot celebrated renowned song genres. Now, Gregory D. sales space deals a compelling account of the Bollywood movie tune from the viewpoint of the musicians who either skilled and formed its background. In an extraordinary insider's examine the method of musical creation from the past due Nineteen Forties to the mid Nineteen Nineties, sooner than the arrival of electronic recording applied sciences, sales space explains who those unknown musicians have been and the way they got here to hitch the movie track undefined. at the foundation of a desirable set of first-hand bills from the musicians themselves, he finds how the day by day situations of know-how and finance formed either the songs and the careers in their writer and performers. sales space additionally unfolds the technological, cultural, and business advancements that ended in the large studio orchestras of the 1960s-90s in addition to the criteria which finally resulted in their loss of life in modern India. that includes an intensive significant other web site with video interviews with the musicians themselves, backstage is a strong, ground-level view of this globally very important tune undefined.

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Additional resources for Behind the Curtain: Making Music in Mumbai's Film Studios

Sample text

In the production of a recorded sound film from 1931 to 1935, sound, song, costumes, sets, dialogue, and action were all prepared and rehearsed, the cameras rolled, and the scene was recorded. Although postfilming editing took place, this consisted largely of splicing together the separate scenes. For the record industry, however, the most significant implication of simultaneous filming was that, once the song was recorded onto a strip of film, there was no way to remove it. Apparently sometime in the 1920s the Gramophone Company built a recording facility in Mumbai.

Playback is a technological practice that occurs all over the globe. The cultural and industrial practices that developed around it in India, however, have often been unique and had significant repercussions for everything that followed. Other determinants of more immediate importance to film musicians arose from this most fundamental component. In combination with film song’s role as popular music and other factors, playback has had a profound impact on the entire range of Indian public-performance culture.

A small handful of musicians such as composers R. C. Boral and Pankaj Mullick, who both directed and conducted for silent films (Arnold 1991), later worked in Mumbai’s film studios but began their careers before sound film. Born in Goa in the first years of the twentieth century, cellist Alphonso Albuquerque was a well-known figure in the film-music industry. Before he began playing in the film studios, however, Albuquerque spent some years as a musician in the silent-film theaters of the British Empire not only in India but also in Singapore “around the time of the Great War,” as his son relates.

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