January 1, 2024

Music & Cinema : A Tool of Communication

Indigenous Art & Culture


Sayantika Ghosh

State Aided College Teacher

Department of Journalism And Mass-Communication

Gobardanga Hindu College

Contact no. 9804395853


Abstract –

As a means of expression, film serves as an instinctual recorder, preserving and producing valuable perceptible goggle. Both music and film are reliant on one another. Music, considered to be the oldest form of art, contributes to the cultural development of cinema. The success and use of music in film are the key topics of this essay. The way the note is changed can have a significant impact on the population. This paper will also discuss the disparate types of Indian music, such as the traditional ragas and the mainstream music that permeates Bollywood. The Indian culture is similar to the thread of music that runs from the spiritual realm to contemporary western culture. The first sound motion picture produced between 1931 and 1940, and in the year 1931.This paper would also focus on Cinema as medium through Music.

Keyword – Cinema, Medium, Music, Media, Communication

Cinema, the dominant intermediate of Communication is a decisive weapon since it was initiated to the globe. It shapes the reflective process and can power the belief of the mass. The change in the film industry with the rolling time is drastic. Music, elucidated as a medieval form of art. It is defined as a wedge of Indian existence including socially, culturally, politically, religiously, etc. The span of  Samaveda and Rigvedas prosperoused with songs and verses.

Utilisation of Music in Indian Cinema was trailed to the emergence of India’s  first sound motion picture in 1931. In those time, with no concept of playback singer, the actors or actresses were selected on basis of their singing abilities, for an eg:- Bal Gandharva and Baburao Pendharkar. The correlation of Indian Cinema with Music instituted with the first talkie or sound film ‘Alam Ara’ made by Ardeshir Irani in 1931. The ever first song – ‘De de khuda ke naams pe pyaare, taqat hai gar dene ki, in the archive of Indian Cinema, composed by Feroze Shah Mistri and the song was sung by Wazir Mohammad khan.

In the world of filmmaking, cinema and music are tightly related, and this connection is crucial to the entire impact and narrative of films. Here are a few ways that music and film are connected:

  • Setting the Mood and Atmosphere: Music is very important in setting the ambiance and mood of a movie. The music selection, whether it be an eerie song for a horror movie or an energetic track for a comedy, aids in capturing the mood and setting of the scenes.
  • Enhancing Emotional Impact: Music can make a scene more emotionally impactful. A well-written soundtrack can amplify the characters’ emotions and drive the audience further into the story. For instance, a soaring orchestral composition can heighten the drama and poignancy of a romantic scene, while a tense musical score can heighten the tension.
  • Character Development: Music can help a movie’s characters grow and become more distinct. The audience may find it easier to relate to and comprehend certain characters’ personalities, motivations, and plot arcs when those characters share similar themes or motifs.
  • Transition of Films : A film’s transitions, such as the passage of time or changes in place, are frequently marked with music. It can help preserve the narrative’s flow and offer a smooth transition between scenes.
  • Narrative Pacing: A movie’s pacing can be affected by the tempo and rhythm of the music. Slower music might offer opportunities for thought and introspection while faster music can generate tension and excitement.
  • Musical performances: Music is a major story point in some movies, and characters who are musicians or performers may appear in these movies. As a result, live musical performances can be incorporated into the film, creating still another layer of musical and visual interaction.
  • Iconic Soundtracks: Iconic soundtracks and theme tunes are associated with specific movies. These musical components become inextricably linked to the film as a whole and contribute to its long-lasting cultural influence.
  • Music : It can be used to symbolically represent recurring themes in a movie or foretell events. Repetition of a musical theme can give a movie a sense of continuity and significance.
  • Silent Films & Soundtracks: Since silent films did not have spoken dialogue, they mainly relied on live musical accompaniments, such as pianos, orchestras, or recorded music, to evoke emotions and advance the plot.
  • Cross-Promotion: Since movie soundtracks are sometimes released as standalone albums, there is an opportunity for musicians to market their music by using a well-known movie to attract a larger audience.

During 1930’s, mostly every film studio’s possess both music composer and lyricists. The first woman music composer, Saraswati Devi, in the history of Indian Cinema, classical singer too, was hired by Himanshu Rai, the owner of Bombay Talkies. The prominent song ‘main ban ki chidiya’ of ‘Achhoot Kanya’ (1936) movie was composed by her. Music is defined as quotidian medium that exhibits truth. The change from the big motion picture studios to independent procedures occurred in the year 1940’s and 1950’s. The ‘playback’ singers were introduced then. In Indian cinema music obtained from Indian classical music, folk music of different regions and western classical and popular music. Music orchestra were used by the music director’s but the use was minimal as the availability of musical instruments were very less. R.C Bora, K.C.Dey , Pahari Sanyal, Pankaj mulick, K.L. Sehgal, Saraswati Devi, Khem Chandra prakash were  known as some of the renowned music directors and greatest singers of that time period. Other many more assuring music directors appeared in the 1950’s including Anil Biswas, Vasant Desai, C. Ramachandra, S.D.Burman, S.Bal Chander, Salil Choudhury, Bhupen Hazarika, P.Nageshwar Rao, Sudhir Phadke, Hemant Kumar.

Poetry and literature played the pivotal role in enriching music in Indian cinema. Every music expressed a message through its lyrics. In 1950’s, Kafi Azmi, Majrooh Sultanpuri, Gopal Das, Sahir Ludhianvi and many others were the ruling lyricists of those time period. Singers like Manna Dey, Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, Kishore Kumar, Md. Rafi, Hemant Kumar, Mukesh, who were known as the veteran Bollywood Singers of the Black and White Era, who defined Indian Cinema’s Golden Era. They not only san son only of their regional language but in different regional languages mostly covering all states of the country.

In Indian Cinema, music is originated from storyline. Music were created according to the requirements of the cinema and were knitted blending to latitude of  the cinema. During 1960’s and 1970’s the quality of recording has improvised with the new technical advancement. In the end of 1970’s music of romance and soft emotions flourished and a new trend of  western influenced fusion music was taken over by Lakxmikant Pyarelal, R.D Burman and many others. Asha Bhonsle, leading female voice and Kishore Kumar, leading male voice acquiscented the music world of cinema. The three decades played the major role for the evolution of new trends in cinema and the film music also.

The alternative cinema or the New Wave cinema portrayed music differently than the main stream cinema. Music director’s then used music in cinema more logically and in narrative form. For an example, “main awara hoon”, the title song of  “Awara” by Raj Kapoor, is the part of the story where the lead character, the hero singing the song by himself on the road, with no dance performance. Again “kisi ki Muskurahaton Pe ho Nisar” by Raj Kapoor from the movie “Anari” narrates to transmit happiness to someone else. One can be poor financially but by heart he can be richest among many, putting the hand of help to another, giving your shoulder  can bring change to someone’s life. Satyajit Ray, introduced a new frame by incorporating a song in the cinema which is a core part o the film narrative. Mani kaul and Kumar Sahani, both resuscitated the utilization of classical music in cinema. They endeavou to traverse the cinematic medium through the musical expression. If observed minutely, in the cinema named ‘Siddheshwari’ (1959) by Kaul, based on the life of thumri singer Siddheshwari Devi. In this movie he wanted to portray on the soul of her singing through cinema. So, the work of camera highlighted musical illustrations which made the viewers sense Devi’s music on screen.

Media and Music are effective means of communication that have a big influence on how culture is shaped, messages are spread, and how people interact with one another. As tools of communication, they work as follows:

  • Expression of Emotions and Ideas: Through sound, images, and storytelling, music and media may transmit nuanced emotions, concepts, and narratives. These platforms are used by musicians, filmmakers, and content producers to convey their ideas, viewpoints, and artistic visions.
  • Cultural Value’s : A society’s or a particular set of people’s cultural values, beliefs, and identities are frequently reflected through music and other forms of media. They can be used to convey and preserve cultural traditions, stories, and legacy.
  • Entertainment : is one of the main purposes of music and the media. These sorts of entertainment, whether it’s a catchy pop song, an exciting action movie, or a thought-provoking documentary, can interest and captivate people while offering a vacation from everyday life.
  • Education: Music and other forms of media can serve as teaching tools by offering knowledge and perspectives on a range of subjects. People can learn about history, science, art, and other topics through watching educational movies, documentaries, and music.
  • Social criticism: It is frequently expressed through music and other forms of media. Important social, political, and cultural topics are addressed by artists and creators through their work, bringing attention to them and igniting dialogue.
  • Advertising and marketing: In the commercial sector, media and music are crucial tools for both of these processes. To effectively reach consumers, advertisers utilize jingles, catchy music, and appealing imagery to market goods and services.
  • Creating Communities: The power of music and media to unite people and promote a sense of community. Including-minded people can interact and share their passion for a specific artist or genre in settings including concerts, movie screenings, and online fan clubs.
  • Influence and Persuasion: The media, particularly news organizations and social media sites, can be used to sway people’s opinions and actions. It has the power to alter how people see different problems and subjects and how they believe and behave.
  • Global Reach: Thanks to the internet and other digital technologies, music and media are now accessible to people all over the world. Global content sharing and consumption facilitate intercultural dialogue and comprehension.
  • Storytelling: The core of both music and media is storytelling. These media use storytelling tactics to captivate and connect with audiences, whether it is through song lyrics, movie plots, or journalistic reporting.

Thus music in cinema being the medium transmits expression which helps in the growth of Indian Cinema. Music and media may entertain, educate, and alter society since they are varied and significant vehicles of communication that can transmit feelings, culture, information, and ideas. One of the core elements of filmmaking is the interaction between the visual and the musical. A movie’s visual and emotional elements are enhanced by music, which contributes to a more engaging and immersive viewing experience. A strong instrument for transmitting narratives and evoking emotional responses from viewers, music and film are combined through the deliberate selection and composition of music by musicians. They are crucial elements of modern communication and culture.

References –

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