Hindi films and film songs have dominated Indian public culture, and have made their presence felt strongly in many global contexts. While the existence of songs in Hindi films is commonly dismissed as ‘purely commercial’, this book demonstrates that in terms of the production process, musical style, and commercial life, the parent film powerfully shapes and defines the film songs and their success. Analyzing Hindi film songs in cinematic context, Anna Morcom reveals that they are situational, dramatic sequences, inherently visual and multi-media in their style and conception - pop songs conjoined with cinema.
This book is uniquely grounded in a wealth of ethnographic material from the Hindi film and music industries as well as detailed musical and visual analysis of Hindi film songs, song sequences, and films. Its findings lead to highly novel ways of viewing Hindi film songs, their key role in Hindi cinema, and how this affects their wider life in India and across the globe. With a new preface updating the reader on recent developments, this book will remain indispensable to scholars seeking to understand Hindi film songs, Hindi cinema, and Indian popular music more broadly. The book caters for both music specialists as well as a wider audience.