I love Hindi film music. I love music in general, but Hindi film music is what I grew up with, and as much as I continue to explore a vast range of music from all over the World, nothing quite compares to its variety and vibrancy when it’s done well.
The Hindi film song is by far the dominant popular music of India, purely by the strength of numbers; Hundreds of Hindi films, each containing at least a handful of songs, are released every year. This makes for an inexhaustible stream of new songs to listen to and enjoy, not all of it great, but when you have so much produced, the number that are remarkable are significant. Bollywood music might be cultural natural selection at it’s best, and sometimes most alarming too.
In spite of this dominance, Hindi film music is just a subset of a broader tradition of film songs in a variety of India’s several major languages, and film music itself is a subset of a much vaster tradition of folk and classical Indian music dating back millennia. As popular musical traditions go, you cant pick one that is more chaotic, and more complex than the Indian song, and that precisely what I wanted to tackle with this site.
As Indians have flocked on to the internet, both from the homeland and from ever corner of the world where they work and have settled, the collection of Indian songs available online has exploded, with video sites like YouTube possibly containing a collection that would rival any obsessive fan’s. But as is the nature of publicly built resources, the collection is chaotic and repetitive and difficult to navigate without coming across cover versions and mash-ups and bad recordings and such. Not to mention that much of it is devoid of any credits to the army of talent that goes into the making of an Indian song on screen: actors, directors, singers, composers choreographers, to name a few.
IndianSong.org hopes to bring some order to that chaos, not with some vast marvel of technology, but with a personal touch, covering an Indian song a week and seeing what we can build from there.
Enjoy the music.