Saturday, March 16, 2013

Tribute to Maestros - Dil Ki Girah Khol do

My humble tribute to Shankar Jaikishen - Orchestration and Arrangement 

Enjoy the song

Shankar Jaikishen have been the pioneers for orchestration and arrangements. Most of their songs have close to a 100 member orchestra. Instruments range from Accordions toViloins to Cellos, Guitars, Grand Piano, Drums, Horns section, Brass section. You can identify the song based on their arrangement. But they have also given some songs like Basant Bahar, Seema which is pure classical and no western orchestration. 

I have been an ardent follower of Shankar Jaikishen since childhood as my dad used to listen to a lot of Raj Kapoor songs predominantly by SJ. I had later cultivated separate interest in orchestration arrangement and loved their score in around 120 movies over  period from 1949 to 1971 as a duo. 

Today i had the pleasure of listening to some classic gems from old hindi collections. Radhu and I do relish the old Hindi classics sung mainly by Lata/Mannadey/Rafi. This song is so dear to me mainly because of the orchestration and scene performance. Nargis and Feroz Khan made the song look immortal.

I remembered this movie Raat aur Din, I saw with Radhu first time on video around 1997.
During an interview with Mannadey about Lata , he describes her as a singing sensation that can flow from top to bottom like a river. Any high note was possible by Lata. What a praise?

Only when I listened to the song I realized the "Waltz" effect by the ever greatest music meastros Shankar Jaikishen. Accordions, Cellos and violins flow effortlessly. What I do like here is Waltz effect is purely Western classical and adaptation of this into Indian movie song is phenomenal. Overlapping of strings is something remarkable.

This is a typical "Waltz" style song composed by the Classic duo of Hindi cinema - Shankar Jaikishen. This has been penned by Shailendra. Awesome lyrics especially in the third stanza wherein he writes - kal humse pooche na koi, kya ho gaya tha tumhe kal  mudkar nahi dekhate hum, dil ne kahan hai chala chal.

This song has multiple paces from the start to the end. SJ has used Waltz in many of his creations during which various instruments are in place. What is Waltz?? It is a ball room dance in closed position. 

Now to the song – Listening pleasure.

Prelude to the song

Grand orchestration is the name of this song. Amazing prelude Starts off with Grand Piano, Accordions (mild)Violins, Cellos, Sax, Drums playing for the 0.23 secs where in the violin and Double Bass play call and response to each other in both octaves (may be as a Tenor and Bass) and counterpoint with each other before slowing down to Lata’s introduction.
This reminds me of "Main Shayar to nahin" of course from RK banner. Especially the prelude piece before Lata sings.

When Lata starts of Dil ki Girah – Drum roll starts off – and we can hear Piano, Viloins and Drums galore. But the beauty is this – When she takes the Aalap in the middle of the song “aaa mehfil me ab kaun hai ajnabi” the beat changes to tabla piece with heavy violin following , and the beat which changes to drums again when Lata sings again “Dil ki girah.” – JUST THIS IS AWESOME to hear!! This just gets better with the whole 100 piece orchestra. WOW!!

1st Interlude – Memerizing – Typical Waltz flow with amazing Western techniques like Fugue has been used which means (In music, a fugue is a contrapuntal compositional technique in two or more voices, built on a subject (theme) that is introduced at the beginning in imitation ). 

How has this been used here is violin piece and double bass repeat the same notes and there is a heavy counterpoints of accordions and violins bring a total harmony. Drums form the central part with mild sax and pianos. With good headphones we can hear multiple instruments flowing like a river.This is just GRANDE!!

1st stanza – When Lata takes over to sing “Milne do ab dil se dil ko – the Beat section is tabla, Violins follow her, Double Bass behind the violins and when she sings Kab phaslo dooriyon ko, The accordions take the lead to bring the Waltz effect through drums for one LINE alone and reverse back to tabla when she aalaps“aaa mehfil me ab kaun hai ajnabi” and again the same repeats to lead to 2nd interlude!!

Interlude 2 – Intro of Mannadey - Violins  Double Bass, Accordions playing absolute harmony in this section. We can hear the violins roar and increase the intensity by moving to a higher octave with amazing support of Cellos and Accordions. Hear the counterpoint of Violins and Cellos/Double bass.

Second stanza has Mannadey as the lead. Same repeat of 1st interlude Background score and interludes too. 

Except in the last stanza we can hear – Shailendra’s lyric saying “Kal humse puchega koi kya ho gaya tha thumha kal- Mud kar hahin dek the hum, dil ne kaha hai chala chal”
Great lyrics and amazing orchestration.


  1. Wonderful commentary on the orchestration and arrangement. This song always comes up whenever big party songs of the 60's and 70's are discussed.

    There are a few other evergreen Lata-Manna Dey duets too incl some Raj Kapoor-Nargis ones arranged by S-J, like pyar hua ikrar hua, aa jaa sanam, yeh raat bheegi bheegi. Hopefully you'll write about them as you go along.


  2. Srini,

    Your comments are very valuable. I am planning to do some of those numbers soon. I also want to add "Masti Bhara yeh sama" etc to the list. also "Nain mile Chain kahan"..

    appreciate the feedback.


  3. Very well done the song music analysis. I always feel that such analysis should also include lyrical highlights to make it more interesting. Congratulations.

  4. Very well done the song music analysis. I always feel that such analysis should also include lyrical highlights to make it more interesting. Congratulations.

  5. Very well done the song music analysis. I always feel that such analysis should also include lyrical highlights to make it more interesting. Congratulations.