Bollywood Sounds: The Cosmopolitan Mediations of Hindi Film Song

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9780199993468: Bollywood Sounds: The Cosmopolitan Mediations of Hindi Film Song

Bollywood Sounds focuses on the songs of Indian films in their historical, social, commercial, and cinematic contexts. Author Jayson Beaster-Jones takes readers through the highly collaborative compositional process, highlighting the contributions of film directors, music directors (composers), lyricists, musicians, and singers in song production. Through close musical and multimedia analysis of more than twenty landmark compositions, Bollywood Sounds illustrates how the producers of Indian film songs have long mediated a variety of musical styles, instruments, and performance practices to create a uniquely cosmopolitan music genre. As an exploration of the music of seventy years of Hindi films, Bollywood Sounds provides long-term historical insights into film songs and their musical and cinematic conventions in ways that will appeal both to scholars and to newcomers to Indian cinema.

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About the Author:

Jayson Beaster-Jones is an assistant professor of ethnomusicology at the University of California, Merced.


"Bollywood Sounds is an exciting addition to the literature on Hindi film song. Beaster-Jones deftly weaves together song analysis, biography, and socio-political context to provide insights about meaning and style on every page." --Anna Schultz, Stanford University

"This work is destined to become a core text for the study of Indian popular music. It introduces readers to a wealth of carefully analyzed Hindi film hits, accompanied by considerations of the roles of central musical figures and historical/cultural context. It will be an indispensable starting point for scholars and students interested in the Hindi cinema and its music. It is both fascinatingly detailed and ambitiously comprehensive in scope." --Gregory Booth, co-editor of More than Bollywood (2013)

"Beaster-Jones has given the first broad historical sweep of Hindi film songs from the beginning of sound film and the birth of the Indian film song in 1931 to the present day of programming, Internet and cellphones. The book's deft and articulate interweaving of analysis of the musical sounds, styles and techniques of Hindi film songs with social, economic and political change greatly enriches our understanding of this sometimes bewilderingly dynamic phenomenon." --Anna Morcom, author of Hindi Film Songs and the Cinema (2007)

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