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 plenty 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 distinct renowned tune and well known movie cultures on this planet. this day, the songs performed via Mumbai's studio musicians are identified all through India and the Indian diaspora below 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 so much celebrated well known song genres. Now, Gregory D. sales space deals a compelling account of the Bollywood movie tune from the point of view of the musicians who either skilled and formed its historical past. In an extraordinary insider's examine the method of musical creation from the overdue Forties to the mid Nineties, ahead of 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 song undefined. at the foundation of a desirable set of first-hand bills from the musicians themselves, he finds how the day by day conditions 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 standards which finally ended in their loss of life in modern India. that includes an intensive significant other site with video interviews with the musicians themselves, behind the scenes is a robust, ground-level view of this globally vital song undefined.

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

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Dates are always a matter of concern in history; in oral history they are vulnerable to the inconsistency of people’s memories. In most cases, the experiences or insights in this book are more important than whether the year was 1959 or 1960. When dates and sequence are especially significant, I have located events in relation to larger developments (pre- or postpartition, for example) or by referring to films. Sometimes it has been impossible to completely sort out sequences; chronologic inconsistencies thus appear in some of the comments included here.

The film with the recorded song was sent for processing, and the recorded song could then be played back on an optical camera, while the actors, now in costume, mimed the lyrics they had previously sung as their actions were recorded on a separate strip of film. As long as the actors mimed to a recording whose master was made on a format synchronizable with 35 mm film, filmmakers would be free of concerns about synchronicity. That fundamental condition defined the recording process in the film-music industry and consequently the careers of the musicians who are the subject of this book.

Nevertheless, most film musicians, especially when talking about the past, still refer to the company exclusively as “HMV,” regardless of what its actual name was at that particular moment or which label might have released a particular song (there were other labels in India). In the context of this volume, I have followed the musicians’ practice, although when I refer specifically to the post-1998 company, I use the new name, Sa Re¯ Ga¯ Ma. Early film-music recordings were often made on film sets—the large spaces in which films were shot—rather than in recording studios.

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