Saturday, 22 September 2012

Songs with "Hatke" Formats

If I ask you what is the similarity amongst these three beautiful songs, viz, “Phoolon ke rang se dil ki kalam se”, “Dil aaj shayar hai gham aaj naghma hai” and “Ek ladki ko dekha to” apart from being Dev Burman Family Productions, what would be your answer? I know, many of you know- in each of these three songs , mukhda lines are never repeated throughout the song, or, rather there is no bifurcation between mukhda and antara. All the verses are independent . While “Phoolon ke rang se “ does reciprocate around the lines “badal bijli chandan pani…”, so does “Ek ladki ko dekha to”, reciprocating around these initial few words only(although none of them ever repeating the complete mukhda anywhere in the songs), “Dil aaj shayar hai” is absolutely unique and consists of verses absolutely independent of one another.
There have been quite such interesting songs in the old Hindi Film Music with quite unique formats- especially with the traditional mukhda-antara format- which we can discuss here.  The above example discussed here is one such instance of “No repetition of Mukhda”.
Antara Tune to start with and then Mukhda:
One such example is “Khwab ho tum ya koi haqeeqat”, where the song starts with bare vocal Kishore Kumar rendering the antara tune first- “subah pe jis tarah sham ka..” and then picking up the mukhda tune “Khwab ho tum ya koi haqeeqat”.
Another such example is “Dekho yeh mere bandhe haath” from the movie “Bandhe Haath”, where the song starts with “Kya janoo main hoon kaun…” which is again the antara tune and then comes the mukhda tune which is  “Kaise miloon tumse chahonn to mil na sakoo main” .
Sanchari Format in Hindi Songs:
Sanchari format is quite common in Bengali traditional songs, in fact in many Tagore songs. Sanchari is mainly used in the second antara, where before repeating the tune of first antara, a separate tune is created for an extra couplet before. Very few music directors tried to replicate this in Hindi songs, with the exception of Salil Chowdhury, who composed some very beautiful “Sancharis” (her daughters were also named Antara and Sanchari by the way). One example is “O sajna barkha bahar aayi” from Parakh(1960), where the Sanchari part is “Aese rimjhim mein O sajan, pyase pyase mere nayan tere hi khwab mein kho gaye”, which is used before the common antara tune of the song is used in the second stanza. Also, there was “Na jiya lage na” from Anand(1970), where sanchari part comes again before the start of second stanza as “ Na jiya lage na, piya teri bawri se raha jaye na”. So strong was Salil’s hold on Sanchari making that very few other Bengali MDs dared to implement this format lest they got compared with him. Bhanu Gupta- a long time associate with R D Burman, once told me that he had asked RD as to why the latter did not compose Sancharis in his songs(he did once though, in a Bengali song “Jete daao amaye deko na”), to which RD replied that the day he would feel confident that he could make a Sanchari as good as that of “O sajna”, he definitely would.
Varied Paces of Mukhda Antara with Varied Moods:
Burmans again! J One of the classic examples is S D Burman’s “Kaisa hai mera dil tu khiladi” from Gambler, where Papa Burman makes the mukhda tune sad and slow and then suddenly picks up the tempo and the mood in the antaras , only to come down again while repeating the mukhda tune.  Amazingly done by Kishore Kumar in terms of switching frequent moods.
Not so much from the elite groups, Bappi Lahiri did try out this format a decade later with Kishore and Asha in “Imtihan ho gayi intezaar ki”, which starts with slow and sad pace, continues one full antara in the same mood, after which the heroine appears and the whole mood and pace of the song go jazzy! Not a bad job from the Disco Deewana by the way.
R D did this trick in “Sapna mera toot gaya”, where the overall mood of the song being sad is reflected in the mukhda, and in the antaras, when the girl starts recollecting her romantic past, the antara tunes and moods take a romantic twist, only to bring her back to the sad present while converging again into mukhda.
Three antaras with Individually different tunes
“Jab dard nahi tha seene mein” from Anurodh(1977) composed by Laxmikant Pyarelal had an innovative concept where there were three antaras in the song, each being distinctly differently composed in tune. The first “ Yaaron ka gham”, the second “Aese to thes na lagti thi” and the third “ Is qadar pyar to”- all are entirely differently composed and written in structure with no similarities. While I recall many instances where in a three antara song, there have been two antaras with one tune and third one with a different tune, all three antaras being distinctly composed is quite unique. Full marks to Laxmikant Pyarelal for pulling this off brilliantly.

Songs with no antara
No couplets to start with, no verses in the middle to be independent or converging whatever, there  is only one verse with multiple lines- more like a descriptive poetry, a long continual verse- very challenging to give tunes to them. Kishore Kumar composed and sang “ Mujhe kho jaane do” from Door Ka Rahi(1971); those who have not heard this, please listen. It would give you goosebumps for sure, a great creation from a true genius.


  1. Very informative and nice Arghya. I believe the current crop barring a few do not even know what a Sanchari is - let alone try it! As for structural nuances [male, female, build-up, coda] much of its thrown down the gauntlet as Apps and pre-coded base layers are over used - one reason why a song today fizzles out before 3 days [which was Rajesh Khanna's benchmark for remembering a tune to judge it as a hit] ... Till the time some people seriously take up music for music we will not see these sort of experiments again.

    1. Very true, Arup! No compositional experiment nowadays apart from synthetic sounds and recordings. This is what I miss from those golden days from 50s to 70s!

  2. Anindya Roychowdhury23 November 2012 at 20:30

    Talking of sanchari, one of the most outstanding, IMHO, though not in HFM, is Kishore's "Noyono shoroshi keno".

    Of the non-Bong MDs and HFM sancharis, Ravindra Jain's "Har haseen cheez ka' (Saudagar) is simply breathtaking (his exposure to Tagore's and other Bengali music forms would have rubbed off, I guess).

    One of the earliest examples of form-breaking, from my recollection - Pankaj's astounding composition "Jag mein chale pavan ki chaal" (Doctor). The sanchari veers into a completely different tune structure, which is difficult to connect to the mukhra and the first antara. The second antara that follows from this sanchari is again, completely different. And all this is seamlessly hooked into the refrain, "Jag mein chale pavan ki chaal". SDB's landmark "Tumi je giyaachho chole" is another favourite of mine. Note the sanchari here, "Khela ghore shudhu dhuliro khela" has virtually no bearing with tre rest of the song, in terms of tune similarity, but hooks up seamlessly with the antara. "Khela ghore" could stand alone work as the mukhra of another song!

    As you mentioned, there are many many examples of two differently tuned antaras - my favourites bing SJ's "Bhawre ki gunjan", where the first antara is tuned like a conventional sanchari (touchng the lowest notes in the song), while the second antara hits the peaking notes.

    There is at least one another song with three differently tuned antaras: OPN's "Savere ka suraj", where the sanchari-like second antara joins back directly into the mukhra tune. the third antara (deleted from the vinyl), "Charaag apni dharti ka" then takes a completely different route, and again hooking upto the mukhra tune. This is not very different from the LP experiment in Anurodh that you mention. In fact, it has the added delight, the step-by-step build up to a crescendo ("Tumhaare liye hai") as it ends.

    1. What delightful additions Anindya Da!! Really, how could I miss "Savere ka suraj"- one of my all time favourites and according to OP, a composition "ruined by Kishore Kumar"!!!

      Pankaj Mullick indeed tried out Sanchari format in Hindi songs, another example which comes to my mind is non film "Yeh raatein yeh mausam yeh hasna hasana", where "chaman mein.." acts like Sanchari.

      Wonderful people you are, such a pleasure to interact with you and learn so many things! Thank you, Dada...

  3. Arghya, a very illuminating article on the hatke songs. One has heard all these songs so many times and felt awed at their hatke-ness, but never bothered to structure them as you have done. Thanks a lot, particularly for the reference to the concept of Sanchari. The Hindi version of Jete dao amay deko na, again sung by Asha in the album Dil Padosi hai has the stanzas include the sanchari part of the Bengali song. Would you still refer to the stanza (in the Hindi song) as having sanchari or call the entire stanza as antara?

    Anindya's comment is also very interesting and enlightening. As I was going through his reference to different antaras, Savere ka suraj came to my mind, and interestingly found he has mentioned that very song. In fact there are quite a few songs with different antaras - two come to my mind immediately - both by Manna dey and SJ - Sur na saje and chhum chhum bajere payalia.

    1. Thank you sir. Absolute pleasure!! Jete Daao's second stanza which included Sanchari, was used in both the antaras of the Hindi version and hence the distinguishing part was vanish! :)

      There are many Hindi spngs which had two differently composed antaras, but "three differently composed antaras" are a bit rarer species, ain't they? LP seemed to have mastered the concept- I recall 2 more from them- Prem ka rog laga from Do Premi and Ek haseena thi from Karz. There must be some more. But, Jab dard nahi tha remains my personal favourite.

  4. Reacting to what Anindya Roychowdhury has said above about influnce on Ravindra Jain, he has gone on record that he has been influenced by SD Burman's music right from the beginning with his movie 'Saudagar'.

    1. Anindya Roychowdhury26 November 2012 at 00:50

      Indeed, the SDB touch is quite evident in RJ's early works, like Saudagar, short phrases, minimalistic interludes and orchestral back-up, sweet simple tunes, and that Bengali folk/traditional element. Consider this song from Saudagar:

      RJ has clearly reworked an old Bengali Shyamasangeet (devotional song sung to Goddess Kali), a version of which appears in the landmark BEngali comedy film "Shaare Chuaattor"

      But, at the same time, there's this Burman gharana effect.

      Or this, from the same film. A very typical, slow prelude, in the SDB-Jaidev mould.

      This is actually reminiscent of earlier Rafi-SDB works like Kaise Kahoon, and also of the prelude of a later KK song, from the posthumously released Barood:

      Over the next few years, though, RJ developed his own distinct style, although at times he sounded like his other contemporaries, for instance like LP in "Seema Seema Seema" (Salaakhen) or RDB in "Chal chal re Kathmandu" (Ram Bharose) or KA in "Le jaayenge" (Chor machaaye shor).

      All IMHO.

  5. Kuhu kuhu bole koyaliya is 4 antra sanchari rarest song...

  6. Aa Jao Tadapte Hain Armaan - Awara (1951) has 3 different Antaras.
    Pratap Kumar Saha.