Behind the Curtain

Behind the Curtain : Making Music in Mumbai's Film Studios

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Description

Beginning in the 1930s, men and a handful of women came from India's many communities-Marathi, Parsi, Goan, North Indian, and many others-to Mumbai to work in an industry that constituted in the words of some, "the original fusion music." They worked as composers, arrangers, assistants, and studio performers in one of the most distinctive popular music and popular film cultures on the planet. Today, the songs played by Mumbai's studio musicians are known throughout India and the Indian diaspora under the popular name "Bollywood," but the musicians themselves remain, in their own words, "behind the curtain"-the anonymous and unseen performers of one of the world's most celebrated popular music genres. Now, Gregory D. Booth offers a compelling account of the Bollywood film music industry from the perspective of the musicians who both experienced and shaped its history. In a rare insider's look at the process of musical production from the late 1940s to the mid 1990s, before the advent of digital recording technologies, Booth explains who these unknown musicians were and how they came to join the film music industry. On the basis of a fascinating set of first-hand accounts from the musicians themselves, he reveals how the day-to-day circumstances of technology and finance shaped both the songs and the careers of their creator and performers. Booth also unfolds the technological, cultural, and industrial developments that led to the enormous studio orchestras of the 1960s-90s as well as the factors which ultimately led to their demise in contemporary India. Featuring an extensive companion website with video interviews with the musicians themselves, Behind the Curtain is a powerful, ground-level view of this globally important music industry.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 336 pages
  • 154 x 232 x 22mm | 480.81g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 21 black and white halftone and 3 line illustrations
  • 0195327640
  • 9780195327649
  • 1,641,778

Review quote

Booth's inquiry is the first of its kind to embrace both film studies and studies on Indian film music ... and should be immensely useful to scholars of music, cinema studies and other social sciences. * Madhuja Mukherjee, Studies in Musical Theatre *show more

About Gregory D. Booth

After early training in western classical music, Gregory D. Booth began the study of North Indian tabla drumming with Ustad Zakir Hussain in 1977. He has published widely on South Asian classical music pedagogy, processional music, and Hindi film music. He is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Auckland.show more

Table of contents

PART ONE - HISTORY, TECHNOLOGY, AND A DETERMINIST MILIEU FOR HINDI FILM SONG; PART TWO - THE LIFE OF MUSIC IN THE MUMBAI FILM INDUSTRY; PART THREE - MUSIC, INSTRUMENTS, AND MEANING FROM MUSICIANS' PERSPECTIVESshow more

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