Music of Bollywood

Bollywood is a combination of Bombay and Hollywood. It is used to describe the type of music typically used in Indian film. The first Indian movies were inspired by ancient texts. Many of the movies’ plots were taken from stories of ancient Indian poems, the Parsi theatre or the traditional folk theatre of India. Indian cinema has spread all over Indian society and has also been on the forefront of the spread of India’s culture around the world.


Bollywood songs (Hindi Film Songs) have been around in Hindi cinema since the first sound film, Alam Ara created in 1931. by Ardeshir Irani which featured seven songs. Bollywood music has drawn its inspiration from numerous traditional sources such as Ramleela, nautanki, tamasha and Parsi theatre, as well as from the West, Pakistan, and other Indic musical subcultures.


Songs in Bollywood movies are created with lyrics often written by well known poets. These lyrics are often set to music and carefully choreographed to match the dance routine or script of the film. They are sung by professional playback singers and lip-synched by the actors. What is interesting is that Bollywood cinema has the songs sung by the characters themselves rather than being played in the background.


Sarod: It’s a plucked stringed instrument with a skin-covered resonator and sympathetic strings. h5_89.4.163.jpg

Dhadd: an hour-glass shaped traditional drum.



Alghoza: two joined beak flutes, one for melody, the second for drone. The flutes are either tied together or may be held together loosely with the hands.image001.jpg

The Sarasvati vīṇa’ is an Indian plucked string instrument. It is named after the Hindu goddess Saraswati, who is usually depicted holding or playing the instrument.


The Veena is made out of a hollow bamboo stick, wood shell and vegetal or brass wire. The Veena is played with a small arrow made out of a piece of bamboo.



Below are some videos that show traditional Bollywood music being performed:








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