Tribute to Rai Chand Boral, the father of Indian film music, on his 35th death anniversary.

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Tribute to Rai Chand Boral, the father of Indian film music, on his 35th death anniversary.

Rai Chand Boral (19 October 1903–25 November 1981) was an Indian composer, considered by music conoisseurs to be the father of Bollywood film music.

He was awarded the Dadasaheb Phalke Award the highest award in Indian cinema, given by Government of India, in 1978, and also in the same year, the Sangeet Natak Akademi, given by the Sangeet Natak Akademi, India’s National Academy for Music, Dance and Drama.

Boral is often credited to be the pioneer of Indian film music. Along with Pankaj Mullick, he was in charge of New Theatres’ music department. New Theatres set standards in film music which have rarely been approached since. They also shaped film music in its early days and their format was followed for the most part for first 20–30 years in Hindi film music. He was also responsible for shaping Saigal’s budding career. Anil Biswas called Boral ‘Bhishma Pitamah of film music’.

Boral joined the Indian Broadcasting Company in the year of its inception, 1927. In 1931, he shifted to the New Theatres in the silent era for supporting the stage with live music. He dissolved the Ghazal style of singing from Northern India into the 19th Century Bengali tunes with string instrument medium. In 1935, he introduced playback singing for the first time in the Hindi feature film Dhoop Chhaon (1935). The song, “Main Khush Hona Chahun”, had an all women chorus led by Parul Ghosh with Suprabha Sarkar and Harimati picturised in a dance sequence. After arriving at Bombay in 1953, Boral composed music for Dard-e-Dil (1953) with Lata’s songs. Music for some basic records were composed by him. Anjangarh (1948) was his last famous film with New Theatres. He is correctly complimented by late Anil Biswas as the Father of Indian Cinema Music. He had directed music of 70–75 (?) films (excluding live scores of silent movies) including Hindi and Bengali films.

He received the Dadasaheb Phalke Award the highest award in Indian cinema, given by Government of India, in 1978 at the age of 75,[2] also in the same year he received the Sangeet Natak Akademi in Creative and Experimental music category, the highest for performing artist conferred by the Sangeet Natak Akademi, India’s National Academy for Music, Dance and Drama.[3]

He died in 1981 at the age of 78.

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