I grew up playing the viola and listening to or performing orchestral music. So the sweeping sound of strings, the lush layers of harmonizing instruments, and the thematic vibrations that play on your heartstrings continue to draw me to instrumental music.
We all know the power of music in Indian film. We also know that most music offered on soundtracks of Bollywood films features lyrics. Recently Shah Rukh Khan tweeted about the power of singers, lyricists and songwriters to create the on-screen hero.
Voices music lyrics behind what makes a star who he is. Thank u all u beautiful people tonite at Radio Mirchi awards for singing me to fame.— SHAH RUKH KHAN (@iamsrk) February 27, 2014
Extremely touched by all singers coming together to do this for me. It’s given me 10 yrs of energy to go on stronger & harder. Thanx Mirchi— SHAH RUKH KHAN (@iamsrk) February 27, 2014
Shah Rukh Khan won a special award for being the "Face Of Romantic Music" at the Mirchi Music Awards.
While songs with lyrics are an important and integral part of Indian cinema, the power of the instrumental theme in Bollywood films cannot be overlooked. Too often, however, these wonderful orchestrations are confined to the silver screen and not included on the soundtrack.
Here are five favorite themes from the soundtracks of films featuring Shah Rukh Khan.
Soundtrack Release Date: 26 October 2001
Composer: Sandeep Chowtha
Why I Love This Theme: The opening sounds and gentle tune played on an ancient flute carry you in a time and place in history long ago. Underlying this opening is a consistent one-note baseline that keeps you listening for resolution into something else. When that resolution comes, you are introduced to a theme which takes you on a journey which is neither joyful or mournful - but it is powerful. As a flute continues the melody, the piano keeps you moving forward. The song seems to end much to early and you are left wishing to be transported back to that time and place.
Film: Kal Ho Na Ho
Soundtrack Release Date: 27 September 2003
Why I Love This Theme: If you've seen this film, you will understand how difficult it is to listen to this theme without tearing up. This theme seems to relive a lifetime of memories in a few short moments. It is a quiet song of both joy and sadness. The constant "heartbeat monitor" sound effect in the background reminds you of the importance of connections, love and friendship. The piano, flute, and guitar - solo instruments - each share a piece of the melody, sometimes harmonizing, sometimes quietly stepping aside. As the percussion stops, the flute concludes with a final breath that is carried skyward by violins.
Soundtrack Release Date: 26 August 2006
Why I Love This Theme: As soon as this music introduces Don, you realize this guy is an riddle wrapped up in an enigma who might have his share of secrets. While he appears suave and sophisticated he is probably not someone you want to mess with. The theme conveys that Don is Mr. Cool with a capital "C". The music intricately weaves layer upon layer of electronic instrumentation that tells you this film is going to be a complex adventure.
Film: My Name is Khan
Soundtrack Release Date: 5 January 2010
Composer: Indrajit Sharma
Performed by: Bombay Film Orchestra
Why I Love This Theme: The simple piano melody line at the beginning of this theme reflects a simple man living a simple life. But soon this tune rises to something more. The strings join in the melody then diverge to include a rich harmony - there is something majestic about this simple life. A deep cello/bass line is introduced - this story has a sad undertone - but ultimately, the melody redoubles and overcomes this sorrowful song. In the end you are reminded that the journey of one simple man can have a profound impact on those he meets along the way.
Soundtrack Release Date: 12 September 2011
Performed By: Prague Philharmonic Orchestra
Why I Love This Theme: This is a whole superhero story captured in 1 minute and 24 seconds. As you listen to this powerful theme you can hear G.one powering up, racing to get the bad guy, then standing his ground as the mighty hero who will win the battle. With this rousing theme as his backdrop, G.one would definitely be a suitable addition to The Avengers team. Rock on, G.one!
If you like this, please visit our other Friday Five posts.