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R.D.Burman and his composition techniques

R.D.Burman and his composition techniques.

written by Souranath Banerjee.

The king of the 70s, the super-talented composer, a passionate singer, an actor, son of renowned singer/composer Sachin Dev Burman – R.D.Burman (Rahul Dev) popularly known as Pancham Da is the man who revolutionized Bollywood Music Industry!

He composed musical scores for 331 films (including Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Tamil, Oriya and Marathi ) and four non-film albums; he was nominated 16 times for Filmfare awards and won thrice.

Not only did R.D.Burman created new-age songs that has influences from Western, Latin, Oriental, and Arabic music,  his unique techniques  of composing music is legendary till date.

Here are some of his innovative music recording ideas that will remain with us forever:

/ In ‘Chura Liya hai tumne’ from the film ‘Yadon ki Barat’ R.D.Burman used the sound of a spoon hitting a glass as a prelude.

/ In ‘O Manjhi Re’ from the film Khushboo (1975), R.D.Burman used bottles filled with water at different levels and by blowing into them created a hollow sound that was used as the background music throughout the song.

/ R.D.Burman blew into beer bottles to produce the opening beats of melodious ‘Mehbooba Mehbooba’ song in the blockbuster film Sholay (1975).

/ In ‘Master Ji Ki Aa Gayee Chitthhi’ from film Kitaab (1977) R.D.Burman brought some desks from a classroom in the recording studio and banged them to compose the rhythm of the song.

/ In Rajesh Khanna, Zeenat Aman starer film Ajanabee (1974) R.D.Burman improvised all the train sounds and interludes himself in the famous song ‘Hum Dono Do Premi’.

The mouth-organ played by Dev Anand in the famous song ‘Hai Apna Dil To Awara’ from the film Solva Saal (1958) sung by Hemanta Mukherjee is actually played by RD Burman himself.

Once R.D.Burman made the singer Annette Pinto gargle to produce a unique type of background music while other times he created music by rubbing sand paper or hitting bamboo sticks together. 

Perhaps words like ‘legend’ and ‘genius’ were invented only to describe such personalities like Rahul Dev Burman.

One of my favorite compositions from the film Yaadon Ki Baaraat (1973). The famous singing competition sequence.

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