Shankar Jaikishan and The Renaissance of Hindi Film Music

The Indian film industry’s first talkie movie was released in 1931. The decade saw the introduction of dance and music in movies that soon appealed to movie goers. The early music directors like Saraswati Devi, Pankaj Mallick, K. C. Dey, R. C. Boral, Ghulam Haider, Anil Biswas, Naushad, C. Ramchandra, S. D. Buman and Vasant Desai, mostly followed the classical and semi-classical style in their compositions.

The 1950s saw a wave of composers like Madan Mohan, O. P. Nayyar and Salil Choudary that created sweet and melodious tunes with poetic lyrics that made almost all their songs memorable. Among them was a composer duo, Shankar Jaikishan, who created magic through their music. They were creative and innovative in their compositions. Their tunes had a superb blend of the folk, classical, and Western music. Thus began the Renaissance of the Hindi film music. With them came a breath of fresh air into film music.

Shankar Jaikishan were the consummate musicians who constantly reinvented themselves to create novelty in their compositions. Besides composing for commercial movies, SJ also created a private album, a one of a kind project that won rave reviews from one and all. They worked with top musicians in their field to play tunes using the major “ragas.” Thus was born the much acclaimed Raga Jazz Style.

Lakshmi Kanta Tummala's photo.