About

I am Ravi (though I use author name RSBAAB) and love Indian film music. I grew up listening to film songs on the radio (much before TV came into our living rooms) and eagerly waiting for the weekly Binaca geetmala. I started admiring the great music directors and their work. I discovered that each music director had a distinctive style, much like each one of us have different signatures. Over the years, I became a keen observer of these styles, techniques used, the shapes, contours, patterns, the  effects and impact created by the composers.

Perhaps having only a radio was a good thing. I find that TV adds an additional visual element, which is enjoyable. At the same time, you cannot focus and listen to the fine nuances of a song, which is possible only if you give 100% of your attention to the audio on the radio or an iPod. You may enjoy a dance or the actor’s expressions or the beautiful scenery in a TV. But if you really want to enjoy the music and the beauty of a good melody, you need a radio. Only in a radio or iPod, you can immerse yourself in the melody of the vocals and also enjoy the sweet tunes of a flute, the silken notes of a sitar or the clarity of a guitar. Only the audio can make you really feel the joy or pathos in a Rafi song, the clarity and richness of Lata’s voice or the resonance of a Mukesh.

An interesting exercise for me was to gauge the rhythm, tempo and shape of the melodic lines to try and guess if the tune was the handiwork of Shanker or Jaikishen. I followed Hindi film music a lot, at the same time also enjoying South Indian film music. While admiring good songs and great music directors, I developed a special liking for Kalyanji-Anandji and Ilayaraja and the beautiful blend of melody and rhythm in their music. When asked about the poor visuals in films for some of Ilayaraja’s memorable songs, Ilayaraja replied “Why do you need visuals? Why can’t you enjoy music for the sake of music?”. I firmly believe that listening only to the audio is the best way to enjoy music and appreciate a composer’s work. I watch TV too, but when I really want to “feel” a song, I will listen only to the audio.

A radio also gives you the freedom to go about your normal work while you listen casually to the music in the background. You may not appreciate the finer nuances of a song, but this helps you relax, enjoy the music and perhaps makes you more productive in your work! In this blog, I am trying to bring back all the enjoyment of a radio for both the serious connoisseurs of film music as well as casual listeners. Most posts, contain a player. You can listen to the songs at your own pace and in your own style. Thanks to the internet, the music player in each article is like an internet radio! In addition to listening to an internet radio, in each of the articles (posts), you can also understand the composing styles of music directors, gain some insights into film music and enjoy a few anecdotes as well. This should add an additional dimension to your enjoyment of good quality film music. 

When I turned breadwinner for my family, I could not hear as many songs as I wanted. However, all the songs I heard in my younger days stayed with me in my memories for the impact they created on me. All the songs in my blog posts are those I heard several times on the radio and enjoyed the impact immensely.

This blog is not meant for commercial purposes. This is to only to share views, analysis and enjoy music with like minded people with similar interests and passion.

In all the posts, the descriptions, analysis, commentary and views are mine. All other media elements of the blog are of course, created and owned by their respective creators and owners.

4 Responses to About

  1. Kumar Gangadharan says:

    Dear RSBAAB Ravi, Thanks for posting an excellent blog. I enjoyed reading it. As a person who is keenly interested in percussion instruments,I immensely enjoyed the rhythm section of your blog. I am disappointed to note that you did not include the great South Indian composer Late Shri M S Viswanathan’s (MSV- a legend in his life time) compositions where he used the Bongos so extensively. His percussionist Late Shri Gopalakrishnan who played the Bongos (in 1960s & 70s) in many a hit song was the leading light of MSV’s orchestra. Gopalakrishnan and Drummer Noel Grant have collaborated in many songs and have produced superb rhythm patterns. MSV also used Shehnai, Taar Shehnaai, Dilruba, Sitar, and other so called “Northern Instruments” extensively in his songs. Maestro Ilayaraja himself has described MSV as his Guru. I can provide you the list of songs where bongos have been used very imaginatively- if you so wish. Thanks & regards. Kumar Gangadharan

    • RSBAAB Ravi says:

      Thank you Kumar for your comment. True, MSV is a legend and he composed several memorable songs. In most of my posts, I tend to include only one South Indian song since the posts are mostly devoted to Hindi film music. I therefore included only one South Indian song by Ilayaraja in ‘Enjoyable Western beats’. However, please do share MSVs songs where bongos have been used imaginatively. I would love to see your additions and I am sure connoisseurs would also love to see more songs focused on percussion. Thanks again for taking the time and effort to read the blog.

  2. Dear Ravi
    I discovered your blog recently and particularly enjoyed your write ups on the Top 3 composers of the Golden Era and the parameters you have used. One can see the evolution from the more classical style of Naushad era to the folk + classical era of Ilayaraja and largely rhythm centric music of current times. Would be great to read your views on this.
    Madhusudan

    • RSBAAB Ravi says:

      Thank you Madhu….Glad you enjoyed the Top3 series. I am not sure whether the “evolution” you are referring to is about film music in general or specific to the music choices in my blog.

      I did cover a fair bit of variety in my blog – not too much, but definitely more than being one dimensional. I think Ilayaraja brought multiple sparks of genius, innovation, talent, variety and a delightful mix that is unparalleled and transcends known styles and genres. I believe that our film music is an endless ocean of joy for everyone much like unending nectar. Each one can dip his own straw with his own style and preferences and drink to his hearts content – with plenty left for him and for everyone else.

      Thanks again for taking the time to go through the posts…..I hope you enjoyed the minute, small drops of nectar here.

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