Bollywood is that one subject Indians are never tired of talking about, right? Going with the zeal and love for Bollywood music, here we will talk about the growing influences of Arabic music on Bollywood. The fact still shocks many that say, apparently people of Saudi Arab tend to love Bollywood music more than any music in the world. One of the reasons could be that there is a reverse musical migration taking place as Arabic music is constantly influencing the latest music composers of the Indian film industry. For instance, let’s take the song “Ya Ali” from the movie – Gangster or the song “Kaho Na Kaho” from the movie – Murder. Hearing both the tracks, one can easily say how the music composer Pritam was highly inspired by the tune and melody of Arabic music. Even the yesteryear’s music composers like Kalyanji-Anandji or R.D Burman were greatly influenced by the charm of Arabic music. The songs like – Laila Main Laila (from the film Qurbani) and Khatooba (from the film Alibaba Aur 40 Chor) justify this statement completely. Whereas, the composers like A. R. Rahman mastered himself in the genre of Sufi, and his music shows a great influence of Sufism, with of course a distinct beat and tone.
The question is why does Arabic music influence Indian music in such a great manner? What is the uniqueness about it? What is it about Arabic music that attracts Indian ears these days? Well, the answer is simple. It is the exclusive harmonic attributes of it, which is quite different from notes of Indian ragas. The unique modality of Arabic music is a sadness that straightly comes from the use of what musicians call the minor third. The great classical guitarist David Temple fondly calls it “joyous melancholy,”
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