The Indian Hindi Film Music can be divided in to 4 parts The 1st before the demise of K L Sehgal, the 2nd Brief phase of 3-4 years from 1945 to 1950, the 3rd, a Distinct “Shanker Jaikishen Era” upto 1975 and the 4th from then onwards.
The Music during Sehgal Era was having a a typical theatrical style and a Single Scale of composition. This continued till Naushad entered the scenre when Sehgal was to make his exit. Naushad composed for Sehgal denoting the Juncture and a Bridge between these 2 parts.
Naushad alongwith a few of his like continued to rule the scene with their Classical compositions bound within the Indian traditional music, where songs started directly with the Voice of the singer mostly without any Prelude, or with a couplet to emphasise the mood of the song situation. The main song used to follow. The Interludes too were not prominent but a passing support as a breather to the Singer.
Then came the Trend Setter Pair of Music Magicians, “Shanker Jaikishen, who Redefined Music. Each song started with a definite Prelude. The 2 Interludes were having a marked length and both Interludes were not similar. Some songs had 3 Stanzas so the 3rd Interlude was a repetition of the 1st Interlude. More and More newer Instruments got in the song, size of Orchestra grew and most of the other Music Directors followed suit. the SJ Era added MD’s Pairs like KA, LP, although Solo MD’s like SD, Roshan, Madan Mohan, OP, were also doing well, but it was OP Nayyar only who had his Distinct Identity after SJ. If we remember Roshan, it is for his Quawwalis, SD for his “Pahadee Tones”, Madan Mohan for his Gazal compositions, but, may it be Indian Classical, Western Jazz, Light music, Percussion fetes, you name it, they had it.
The last Part can be attributed to RD Burman till his demise, who like SJ, had his own Style and who stuck to it. He too had the variety of composition like SJ. One can tella song of RD, merely hearing a few notes only. That’s where lies the Greatness of these composers.