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Symphony of rhydom and melody

error 2022-05-05, 6:40pm


Sudhirendar Sharma

Sudhirendar Sharma
There is declining audience patience, and heightened degeneration in aesthetic sense of poetry, diction and music.
A heady combination of unique synergy and unmatched individual brilliance made the music composed by the incredible duo of Laxmikant and Pyarelal resonate beyond their active life as film musicians. Nicknamed LP, they became the L-ongest P-laying uncrowned monarchs of film music, composing 2,900 songs for 750 films in a career spanning three decades until 1993. Entertainment journalist Rajiv Vijayakar has drawn their biographical sketches, their eventful coming together, and their journey of unmatched popularity in Music by Laxmikant Pyarelal. LP indeed created a popular symphony with a classic touch.

With an extraordinary mix of lyrics, melody and rhythm, LP created larger than life music. Such was their musical appeal that people in theatres would express their appreciation by throwing coins at the screen. Dafliwale dafli baja composition from film Sargam was so popular for its musical score and cinematic rendition that an unbelievable one crore rupees in coins were collected from movie halls in 1979. It was their bond of friendship, and the understanding of music that was nothing short of miraculous in delivering an incredible saga of unequalled success. 
In their formative years, both have had the opportunity of assisting legendary film musicians like C Ramachandra, Shankar-Jaikishan and Kalyanji-Anandji. However, to survive in a highly competitive world of film music, the duo continued experimenting with both musical notes and singers to create a distinct niche both among producers and listeners. What clicked for them was their mastering the art of being slaves to a cinematic situation, and the screen characters. Such has been their oeuvre that soundtrack after soundtrack are worth keeping for posterity.
In such times when there is declining audience patience, and heightened degeneration in aesthetic sense of poetry, diction and music, encapsulating the life and music of past masters is a tribute to their virtuosity and versatility. Seemingly in awe of LP, Vijayakar has brought to light the extraordinary caliber of the duo in enriching listener’s life with musical and lyrical content. Each musical creation holds a story in itself, which is what makes the book interesting and engaging. That they flew to London in mid-1960’s to get a feel of the city for composing Nazar Na Lag Jaye for the film Night in London is one among several interesting stories captured in the book.   
If the number of chartbusting melodies were any indication, LP were musically cut above the illustrious luminaries of their time. However, in no way should it be inferred that stalwarts including Shankar-Jaikishan, S D Burman, O P Nayyar, Madan Mohan, Usha Khanna, Rajesh Roshan and R D Burman were less innovative? In effect, the duo did admit that they not only learnt music from them but also what not to do as musicians. This had helped LP in contributing their share of music to the combined contribution of others in making 1960s through 90’s the glorious period of film music. Indeed, that remains a period of musical splendor. 
Music by Laxmikant Pyarelal offers glowing tributes to the incredible duo, with contributions from singers, lyricists, actors, filmmakers and musicians. While Lata Mangeshkar, Mohammed Rafi and Kishore Kumar were their favorites, in all some 105 male and 72 male voices got their career breakthroughs as singers at the recording studios of Laxmikant Pyarelal. They had earned deepest admiration by all those who worked with them. LP music was as concerned with virtuosity, as aware of feelings and stories. Their musical discoveries underpin the creation and comprehension of music that were unknown to many others.   
Vijayakar captures everything a music lover would like to know about the incredible Laxmikant Pyarelal., their incomparable musical range of unmatched quality. However, a separate section on how some of the chartbusters were composed would have added value to their genius. Given that we have only two eardrums and two ears, how indeed many appealing sounds get created remains intriguing. Laxmikant has long departed by Pyarelal is still devoted to music. Being the only Indian composer to have a symphony ‘Om Shivam in A-Minor’ registered in his name, Pyarelal has ensured that their musical legacy lives on.
Music by Laxmikant Pyarelal 
by Rajiv Vijayakar
Rupa, New Delhi 
Extent: 312, Price: Rs. 599.
(Dr. Sudhirendar Sharma is a writer and researcher specialising in development issues. He is based in New Delhi, India)
First published in the Hindustan Times on April 28, 2022.