Filmi (or Filmy), used as an adjective, is a colloquial term which refers to anything relating to the Bollywood film industry. Filmi music (Hindi: फ़िल्मी मोसीक़ी, Urdu: فلمی موسیقی "filmi mosiqi") is Indian popular music as written and performed for Indian cinema. Music directors make up the main body of composers; the songs are performed by playback singers.

Filmi music tends to have appeal across India and overseas due to the constant inflow of music and the talent of the singers. Playback singers are usually more noted for their ability to sing rather than their charisma as performers. Though these singers (such as Sonu Niigam and Asha Bhosle, among others) may release solo albums, their performances in film soundtracks tend to be more noticed due to the widespread appeal of movies.


Filmi music probably began in 1931, with the release of Ardeshir M. Irani's "Alam Ara" and its popular soundtrack.Fact|date=January 2008 In the earliest years, filmi music was generally Indian (classical and folk) in inspiration; over the years, Western elements have increased significantly.Fact|date=January 2008 However, film soundtracks continue to be very diverse, sometimes fusing genres or reverting to entirely classical music. Examples of this can be found throughout the history of filmi music.

Music directors

R. C. Boral, Pankaj Mullick, Anil Biswas and Naushad were noteworthy music directors of the 1940s, with scores reminiscent of the elegance of Northern India's Moghul and Rajput courts. The 1950s and 1960s, which some consider the 'golden age' of Hindi film musicFact|date=January 2008, included music composers like Shankar Jaikishan, S.D. Burman, O.P. Nayyar, Madan Mohan, C. Ramchandra, Roshan, Vasant Desai, Kalyanji Anandji and Khayyam. Laxmikant-Pyarelal were active music directors for more than 35 years. As Indian cinema segued into the 1960s and 1970s, pop artists like R.D. Burman and duos like Nadeem-Shravan and Jatin-Lalit gave filmi a stronger western flavor. Composers Ilaiyaraaja and Raveendran rose to fame during the 1980s and 1990s, known especially in southern India. Major musical forces in the 1990s and 2000s have included A. R. Rahman, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and Vishal-Shekhar.

Playback singer

"Full article: Playback singer"

A playback singer is a singer who pre-records songs for use in films. The singer records the song and the actors or actresses lip-sync the song in front of the cameras, a form of singing that is characteristic of the Indian subcontinent. The songs of a film, the quality of the music and its music director (composer), lyricist and singer have often determined the success of a film. Film soundtracks are sometimes released before the release of the film itself, resulting in a disparity between the soundtrack and the songs appearing in the film.

Well-known playback singers include the following:
*Asha Bhosle
*Geeta Dutt
*Kavita Krishnamurthy
*Alka Yagnik
*Lata Mangeshkar
*Shreya Ghoshal
*Sunidhi Chauhan.
*Mohammed Rafi
*Hemant Kumar
*Talat Mehmood
*Kishore Kumar
*Manna Dey
*Dr. K. J. Yesudas
*S. P. Balasubrahmanyam
*Udit Narayan
*Kumar Sanu
*M. G. Sreekumar
*Sonu Niigam


"Full article: Bollywood songs"

In the 1950s and '60s, lyricists like Shailendra, Hasrat Jaipuri, Sahir Ludhianvi, Raja Mehdi Ali Khan, Frede, Rajinder Krishan, Majrooh Sultanpuri, Bharat Vyas, S [hakeel Badayuni, Qamar Jalalabadi, Jan Nissar Akhtar and S.H. Bihari wrote lyrics of many classic filmi songs. Lyrics tended towards the literary and drew heavily on contemporary Urdu and Hindi poetry.


Instruments played as background to the vocals include:

* Bansuri
* Daf
* Dholak
* Harmonium
* Jal Tarang
* Khol
* Manjira
* Rabab
* Santoor
* Sarangi
* Sarod
* Shehnai
* Sitar
* Tabla
* Tabla tarang
* Tanpura
* Violin

Instrumentalists in filmi music tend to be publicized less than the playback singers, lyricists and music directorsFact|date=January 2008.

Popularity ratings

Binaca Geetmala, Ameen Sayani's popular Hindi language radio show before satellite television took over in India sometime in the 1990s, gave weekly popularity ratings of Bollywood Hindi film songs (akin to the Billboard Hot 100 list of songs). It ran in various incarnations from 1952 to 1993, and annual lists of the most popular songs were played at year-end. The list was compiled on the basis of record sales in India.Reliving the Geetmala lore. "S.K. Screen", Friday, September 22, 2000, transcript at [] , accessed 2006-7-29] Currently, Hindi filmi songs are sold on tape and CD compilations, played as promos and in programs on various television channels and radio stations, with different popularity ratings claiming different songs as being on the top.

Accusations of plagiarism

Because popular music directors score a great many films over the course of a year, accusations of plagiarizing abound. For example, one production number in Dil (1990) is based on Carl Perkins' "Blue Suede Shoes", sung with Hindi lyrics. Of late the Indian film industry has been gaining visibility outside India, and the legal risks of plagiarism have been gaining importance. Some producers have actually paid for the musical rights to popular Western songs, as in "Kal Ho Naa Ho"'s song, "Pretty Woman".

Wider success for filmi

Filmi is also making converts and exerting influence beyond the usual Desi audiences. Western music stores carry Bollywood compilations. Baz Luhrmann showcases the song "Chamma Chamma" from "China Gate" in his 2002 movie "Moulin Rouge". A. R. Rahman, one of the most popular current music directors, now has a musical, "Bombay Dreams", playing in London and New York.

ee also

* Indian film music directors
* Playback singer
* Bollywood songs
* Bollywood
* Cinema of India
* Filmi qawwali


External links

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