International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Creativity and Meaning in Rahul Dev Burman’s Film Music: the Case of Churaliya Hai Thumne
Ruwin Rangeeth Dias (MMus.), Gisa Jähnichen (Prof. Dr.)

Rahul Dev Burman is the son of the Indian film music directors Sachin Dev Burman who contributed to the Indian film music industry almost 30 years. Learning from and continuing the heritage of his father, Rahul Dev Burman started to work with him as an assistant music director in the 1950s. When he started to work as a music director, Rahul experimented with new sounds and new thoughts in his compositions in order to satisfy changing tastes of the Indian community within India and abroad. Like Sachin Dev Burman’s compositions, Rahul’s compositions derive from various Indian folk tunes and Indian ragas. Rahul adapted and introduced exotic elements and music genres new to the Indian film music applying western orchestration. This paper is to investigate whether he used harmonic progressions on raga based film songs intentionally or rather accidentally. If he applied harmonic progressions with the purpose of enrichment, was it to increase the attractiveness of the song within his professional scope? These questions will be discussed using a detailed musical analysis of Churalia Hai Thumne, a Hindi film song composed by Rahul Dev Burman in 1973 and material collected through personal communication with Rahul Dev Burman’s close music assistants, musicians and music critics. In result, this study may help to understand how and why north Indian ragas are hybridized with Western harmonic progressions in Rahul Dev Burman’s compositions. Ethical issues related to Rahul Dev Burman’s approach to creativity are another important aspect within this study.

Full Text: PDF