Tributes to the legendary Timir Baran, a great musician of Indian cinema and the father of Indian symphony orchestra

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Tributes to the legendary Timir Baran, a great musician of Indian cinema and the father of Indian symphony orchestra, on his 30th death anniversary today.

Timir Baran, a talented composer who is now forgotten and is unknown to the present generation. He brought Indian movie music out of the influence of theatre music and enabled it to acquire its own distinct identity. He was a classically trainedmusician. Trained under Ustad Allauddin Khan of Maihar Gharana, Timir Bran was an expert in playing Sarod, Clarinet and banjo.

Timir Baran, belonged to a family of Sanskrit Scholars, was born on July 10, 1904. He learned Sarod from Radhikaparsad Goswami and then became the first student of Ustad Allauddin Khan in the 1920’s;other students include Ustad Ali Akbar Khan and Pandit Ravi Shankar among other famous musicians.

Timir Baran travelled all over Europe and US playing the sarod and it was during these travels that he got attracted to the western philharmonic orchestra. He realized that a similar Indian orchestra could be created with Indian musical instruments. Thus he created symphony music and trained at least 40 musicians to play it. This caught the attention of danseuse Uday Shankar, who too was trying to present a completely new indigenous dance form to the west. The rest is history. Their epic partnership became legendary.

Timir Baran was one of the three music directors of the New Theatres in Calcutta, R.C. Boral and Pankaj Mullick being the other two. On joining the New Theatres, he composed music for ‘Devdas’ in 1935. “Balam Aao Baso Morey Mann Mein” sung by K.L. Saigal and “Mut Bhool Musafir” sung by K.C. Dey are two of the famous song from this film. Khemchand Prakash joined New Theaters at that time and was Timir Baran’s assistant in Devdas.

His other important films include ‘Pujaran’ (1936), which had “Jo Beet Chuki So Beet Chuki Ab Us Ki Yaad Sataaye Kyun” sung by K.L. Saigal and ‘Adhikar’ (1938) which had “Barkha Ki Raat” sung by Pankaj Mullick and “Suhag ki raat” sung by Pahari Sanyal.

His other notable Hindi films are Deepak, Kumkum, Laxmi and Suhaag released in 1940. Timir Baran composed music for ‘Raj Nartaki’ in 1941, the first full length English language film produced by Homi Wadia starring Prithviraj Kapoor and Sadhana Bose and composed music for Samapti in 1949. Between 1935 and 1949 he gave music for nine movies.

Timir Baran composed music for many Bengali films such as Bijoya (1935), Uttarayan (1941), Bondita (1945), Bicahrak (1959), Thana Theke Aschhi (1965), Diba Ratrir Kabya (1970) and Dak Diyajai (19780. Afterwards he devoted himself to the music faculty of Rabindranath Tagore’s Shanti Naketan at Calcutta.

Timir Baran is also known as the ‘Father of Indian symphony orchestra’ and one of his best known symphony compositions is, ‘Shishu Tirtha’, based on the poem ‘The Child’ by Rabindranath Tagore, it was created in 1936 and became a rage. It is believed that Tagore was not only aware of this but also lauded the effort.

Timir Baran passed away on March 28, 1987.

Courtesy- Imprints and Images of Indian Film Music

Celebrating Cinema

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