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Salil Chaudhary: Pioneer to introduce western classical music!

November 20, 2009 6:29:56 PM IST
Enkayaar, Bollywood Trade News Network
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It indeed is an apparent paradox that Salil Chaudhary who was the pioneer as far as introducing western classical music to the Indian music aficionados is concerned was not remembered at all on his birthday yesterday. Salil Chaudhary was the man who used the nodes of masters such as Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin etc., through his musical oeuvre and in that sense could be considered as the first music director who created a fusion between the western classical music and Indian folk music.

This premise is being put forward as his music is also laced with interesting folk tunes, and this interspersion of folk music, in particular the folk music of Assam and Bengal had significant echoes in all the compositions. As a matter of fact subsequently Salil Chaudhary emerged as one of the pioneer music directors in Bengali cinema.

The first significant echoes of Mozart that one finds in Salil Chaudhary's music is in the film CHHAYA, in the song, "Itna Na mujhse tu pyaar bada ke main ek baadal awara", both in the happy and the sad version one can discern with ease the inspiration drawn from Mozart, in particular his C-Minor tune.

He was the first music director whose orchestration was backed by profuse use of western classical instruments and its acme came in the film MADHUMATI, whose song "Aaja re main to kab se khadi is paar", is one of the all time favorite songs of Lata Mangeshkar.

Salil Chaudhary's career in Hindi cinema can be distinctly divided into two phases. First phase was in the black and white era when he gave music for the films like DO BIGHA ZAMEEN, HALF TICKET, KABULIWALA etc. Particular reference should be made about HALF TICKET, as it is the first and last film where a playback singer has given voice over both in the male and the female category, the singer being Kishore Kumar. It could only happen as Salil Chaudhary as a music director had the confidence in Kishore Kumar.

The second phase of Salil Chaudhary began in late seventies characterized by the films like CHOTI SI BAAT, RAJNIGANDHA, MERE APNE, and ANAND whose music still continues to sweep the fans off their feet owing to the element of softness that each of the songs has in these films.

His music denoted hope from life and an aspiration for a better tomorrow, and for the hope that he could convey through his music Salil Chaudhary indeed needs to be fondly remembered by the music aficionados of Hindi films.

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