Music Composer Duos who took Indian Cinema by Storm!

We don't do films without each other': Vishal-Shekhar
Picture Credicts- DNA India
By Dr.Priyaankaa Mathur
Indian cinema is known for it’s unique feature of songs and dance numbers which play a definite part in the storytelling. Filmy Files brings to you five music composer duo’s who teamed up to create some of the most exotic melodies, but also gave some of the best music composing techniques along with discovering some rare voices, adding a great value to music and film industry.
Laxmikant -Pyarelal

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One of the most prolific musical duo’s of the Indian cinema, Laxmikant-Pyarelal gave many hit songs in the 1960s and 1970s.A large chunk of their hits were written by Anand Bakshi while Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle rendered their voices for the female parts. Rafi Saheb, Kishore and Mukesh sang for the male counterparts. Although their entry into the business was slightly late, eventually their career picked up and they ran almost in parallel with R D Burman and Kalyanji-Anandji who were the ace music composers in the then era, while LP established that they were there to stay for the long haul.
It’s interesting to know that Laxmikant and Pyarel met as adolescent youngsters of 10 and 12 years of age respectively. They both hailed from financially impoverished backgrounds, yet had a strong flair for music and an urge to make a mark, which indeed strengthened their friendship from an early age. They learnt and mastered their craft spending time in the recording studios, playing mandolin and violin for film scores, assisting music directors and playing cricket in famous studio grounds.
The young boys eventually started sharing their musical sensibilities and composing together. Eventually, the duo grew up and matured from being musicians to independent composers. While, laxmikant possessed a great sense of melody with a strong command of the Indian music styles and an understanding of the pulse of the masses, Pyarelal came with a strong concept of Western music. In the initial years they faced a little difficulty in fetching work. It was then when singer Lata Mangeshkar noticed them and recommended them to renowned musicians such as S D Burman, C. Ramchandra and Naushad Saheb.
Parasmani in 1963 was the beginning of Laxmikant-Pyarelal’s (LP) Era in Indian cinema. The duo made Mohammed Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar sing the nostalgic duet Woh Jab Yaad Aye penned by Asad Bhopali which became a huge hit following a series of hits. People swooned to their tunes of Hansta Hua Noorani Chehra, Roshan Tumhi Se Duniya, Chori Chori Jo Tumse Mili, Ui Maa Ui Maa,making the youngsters celebrities overnight, as their sound was fresh and sweet on the ears.

Following the film’s, success  they composed the song Mere Mehboob Qayamat Hogi for the film Mr X In Bombay (1964) which was a Kishore Kumar hit. Their song Chahoonga Main Tujhe from Dosti (1964) brought yet another feather in Rafi Saheb’s cap. Although the film didn’t do well at the box office, went on to be remembered for its music from  LP who won their first Filmfare Award, post which they gave several hits.

Suno Sajna from Aaye Din Bahar Ke (1966) was a beautiful melody rendered by Lata Mangeshkarji, while their song Saawan ka Mahina from Milan (1967), filmed on Sunil Dutt and Nutan became a huge hit of it’s time. Sung by Mukesh and Lata Mangeshkar, the song’s opening became legendary with ‘Pawan Kare shore nahi baba sore’. While the song Baar Baar Yeh Din Aaye – Farz (1967) sung by Rafi and written by Anand Bakshi, became a trademark song for any birthday celebration.

Laxmikant-Pyarelal composed for some 635 movies in their four decade career to include some of the most notable songs in the movies Humjoli, Abhinetri, Karz, Utsav, Shagird, Patthar Ke Sanam, Bobby, Amar Akbar Anthony, Mr India, Chaalbaaz, Ram Lakhan, Khuda Gawah, and Deewana Mastana among many others. 

Shankar- Jaikishan 

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Music composers Shankar-Jaikishan are known for their Raga based immortal melodies which created an everlasting impact on their listers in the 1950s, 1960s, and early 1970s. Having worked together for over four decades from 1949- 1979, their lilting compositions bestowed a rare sonority.

Shankar belonged to Hyderabad where he learnt tabla during his formative years and eventually learnt to play piano, sitar and accordion at the Prithvi theatre. He also assisted the then leading composer duo of Husnlal Bhagatram, which gave him a distinct sense of rhythm and percussion. While, Jaikishan was adept at playing the harmonium and mastered the instrument under Vinayak Tambe after moving to Mumbai.

Eventually, Shankar met Jaikishan at a producers office in Mumbai, and later introduced him to Prithvi theatre as a harmonium player. Their friendship grew and they were together addressed as ‘Ram Laxman ki Jodi’ amongst their music circuit. 

Over the time the duo became friends with Raj Kapoor who took them onboard to compose for his film Barsaat along with lyricists Shailendra and Hasrat Jaipuri. Lata Mangeshkar did the female vocals and Mukesh who was considered as Raj Kapoor’s ghost voice, rendered all the songs of the film.

Thereafter the duo gave many hits for the films namely; Awara, Badal, Poonam, Nagina, Aurat, Parbat, Kali Ghata, Aah, Patita, Shikast, Badshah, MayurPankh, Naya Ghar, Seema, Shree 420, Basant Bahar, Halaku, Rajpath, New Delhi, Kathputli, Anari, Chori Chori, Daag, Begunah, Yahudi, Main Nashe Mein Hoon, Kanhaiya, Boot Polish, Choti Behan, Shararat, Love Marriage and Ujala. 

Shankar Jaikishan are also credited to develop the new genre of Indo-Jazz style with their album Raaga-Jazz in 1968. The duo created 11 songs based on Indian Classical Ragas in the most innovative way by incorporating western and Indian instruments like saxophone, trumpet, bass guitar, sitar, tabla. Their songs topped the charts in Binaca Geeta Mala and were declared most popular on six occasions. Some of their Major hits were Mera Joota Hai Japani in 1955 (Shree 420), Teri Pyari Pyari Surat Ko in 1961 (Sasural), Ehsaan Tera Hoga Mujh Par in 1962 (Junglee), Bol Radha Bol in 1964 (Sangam), Baharon Phool Barsaao in 1966 (Suraj), and Zindagi Ek Safar Hai Suhana in 1971 (Andaaz). In 1959, seven of the top ten songs for the year were composed by S-J, The music director duo received Padmshri and 9 Filmfares during their career.


Picture Credits- The Indian Express

Shiv Hari refers to the music composer duo of Indian classical instrumentalist the Santoor Maestro Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma and celebrated flautist Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia. From a young age, the duo collaborated somewhere in the late 1960s to give some of the finest Indian classical music pieces for albums and also composing for movie scores. 

There was a time when the duo faced criticism for diluting classical music, but they took the plunge to prove them right and stood to the occasion. They signed Silsila with Yash Chopra who gave a chance to the young music directors, while they discussed with him situations, locations and stories. The lyricist Sahir Ludhianvi did not have the dates so Javed Akhtar came on board, this being his first project as a Film Writer. 

Eventually, Hariji suggested having a typical Hori song in UP dialect to be sung by Amitabh Bacchan himself. He requested Amitji to not only render the song,but also to get a song written by his father Hariwansh Rai Bacchan, who took no time to write ‘ Rang Barse’ since his son was to enact and sing it. Amitji practised and gave his best to render it and the song became a legend in itself. Directed by Yash Chopra the song depicts exotic onscreen chemistry between the actors Amitabh and Rekha and is still reckoned as one of the most popular Hori songs of Indian cinema.

Shiv Hari composed music for some of the most popular melodies in the films  including Silsila (1981), Faasale (1985), Vijay (1988) Chandani (1989), Lamhe (1991), Parampara (1999), Sahibaan (1993), Darr (1993). The duo was nominated thrice for Filmfare Awards for Silsila, Chandani and Darr.

Kalyanji – Anandji 

Top 30 Music Albums of Kalyanji Anandji – My Choice – My Words & Thoughts

Kalyanji Virji Shah and Anandji Virji Shah were real brothers born to a Gujarati merchant from Kutch, who came and settled in Bombay, today’s Mumbai. The young brothers were put to learn music to pay the bills of their father. Eventually Kalyanji developed an interest to learn an electronic instrument  Clavioline which sounded like a Nagin Been and was used in the film Nagin (1954). The brothers began their intitial career together by conducting live bands and film orchestras.

The brothers first entered the film industry as a music composer duo in the times when it was ruled by RD Burman, Shankar Jaikishan and Laxmikant-Pyarelal. With their initial hits like  Dum Dum Diga Diga they created a mark in the industry. Following which the duo composed some of the most evergreen songs like Man Dole Mera Tan dole, Wada Karle Sajana, Kya khoob lagti ho, Jivan Se Bhari Teri Ankhein, Na Na Karte Pyar, Arey Diwano Mujhe Pehchano,Kaike Pain Benaras Wala and many more.

Kalyanji Anandji also introduced many new singers to the industry like Manhar, Udit Narayan, Anuradha Paudwal, Sadhna Sargam, Alka Yagnik, Kanchan and Sunidhi Chauhan.

 Vishal- Shekhar

Music composers, producters, singer & songwriter duo Vishal Dadlani and Shekhar Ravjiani come from very different musical backgrounds, complimenting each other while they create music.

Vishal Dadlani comes from a strong electronica, heavy metal and rock background, and began his career being the lead vocalist for the electronic band Pentagram.He also happens to be a songwriter having penned many Bollywood songs like Musu Musu Hasi, Allah Ke Bande, Tu Aashiqui Hai and Tinka, to name a few.

While Shekhar is a trained Hindustani classical musician  who has learnt under the guidance of Ustad Niyaz Ahmad Khan. Music being in the family he learnt to play the accordion from his father Hasmukh Ravjiani.Shekhar began his music career as a contestant on Zee Sa Re Ga Ma Pa, while he also composed for Ad jingles.

It’s an interesting story of how the duo got together as they both met at a recording studio, initially recollecting, where had they met before. Finally realising that they performed with a local band in South Mumbai, wherein Shekhar played the Keyboards,while Vishal was the lead guitarist. Eventually, they became friends and teamed up for the first time as the Music composer duo Vishal- Shekhar for the film Pyaar Main Kabhi Kabhi in 1999.

Vishal- Shekhar rose to fame with the song ‘Tu Aashiki Hai’ for the film Jhankaar Beats, for which they won the Filmfare RD Burman Award for New Music and many more in the coming years. In a career span of almost 20 years, the duo has given many hits for the films namely Salaam Namaste, Dus, Bluffmaster, Dostana, Student of the year, Ra One, Om Shanti Om, Bang Bang, Tiger Zinda Hai amongst many more.

The duo has been ruling the YouTube space with their songs  ‘Nashe Si Chad Gayi” which became an overnight YouTube sensation with 600 million and ‘Swag Se Swagat’ which became the fastest song in the world to hit 100 million views,which reached 650 million views on YouTube in its first year.

5 thoughts on “Music Composer Duos who took Indian Cinema by Storm!

  1. They all are the legend of Bollywood song industry. Maa saraswati grace is on all of them.
    I know guyz you all will definitely laugh on me on knowing the fact that few years back i seriously don’t know that Vishal Shekhar and laxmikant pyarelal are name of two different peoples. Yes!! Its really true guyz.
    I came to know about them i guess from some reality music show but forgot the name of show other wise i definitely mentioned the name, after all show helps me to know that vishal and Shekhar are two different singers 😂😂
    Their twining is so much perfect that it’s really difficult to differentiate between two.
    I am pretty sure about it that i am not the only of who don’t know that they are two different singer😝
    They blend into each other so perfectly as they are one.
    Singes like them are really legend as take of our music industry to another level.
    The duo rose to prominence when they composed the songs for the film Jhankaar Beats which included the song “Tu Aashiqui Hai”. They won the Filmfare RD Burman Award for New Music Talent for Jhankaar Beats.
    I must say a big thankyou to article writer to bring them in eyes of people because many of us watches movie and like the music too but forget the hand behind that music and ends up by saying that oh this song from that movie, i liked so much don’t even care who compose the music who’s its writer and singer etc…
    Please let me know if I am wrong.

  2. Girija Devi is a noted Indian classical vocalist belonging to the Banaras Gharana. For her expertise and contributions she has been regarded as the Queen of Thumri. However her proficiency encompasses both classical as well as light classical music.

    Girija Devi has also contributed significantly in enriching the Thumri genre of Indian classical music. She has graced numerous music concerts with her enchanting renditions. This illustrious classical vocalist has been honoured with many prestigious accolade.

  3. Mohammed Rafi (December 24, 1924 – July 31, 1980) was arguably the greatest of Hindi/Urdu playback singers in Bollywood. Rafi still remains popular in Indian Subcontinent and in many other parts of the world such as the UK, Kenya, West Indies, where people of Indian origin have settled. He continues to inspire new Bollywood playback singers like Sonu Nigam, Mohammed Aziz, Shabbir Kumar and Anwar.

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