S. D. Burman

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Sachin Dev Burman
শচীন দেববর্মণ
SachinDevBurman.jpg
Background information
Native name শচীন দেববর্মণ
Also known as Burman da, Kumar Sachindra Dev Barman, Sachin Karta, S. D. Burman
Born (1906-10-01)1 October 1906
Comilla, Bengal Presidency, British India (now Bangladesh)
Died 31 October 1975(1975-10-31) (aged 69)
Bombay, Maharashtra, India
Occupations Composer, singer

Sachin Dev Burman (Bengali: শচীন দেববর্মণ) was born on 1 October 1906 was an Indian music composer. He was one of the most well-renowned Bollywood music directors. S D Burman composed music for over 100 movies, including Hindi and Bengali films.[citation needed] Apart from being a versatile composer, he also sang songs in light semi classical and folk style of Bengal. His Son Rahul Dev Burman was also a music director.

S.D. Burman's compositions have been mainly sung to a large extent by the likes of Lata Mangeshkar, Mohammed Rafi, Geeta Dutt, Manna Dey, Kishore Kumar, Hemant Kumar, Asha Bhosle and Shamshad Begum. Mukesh and Talat Mahmood have also sung songs composed by him. He also sang about 14 Hindi and 13 Bengali film songs.

Background[edit]

Sachin's abandoned house in Comilla

Burman was born on 1 October 1906, in Comilla, British India, now in Bangladesh to Nirupama Devi, of Manipur and Nabadwipchandra Dev Burman, son of Maharaja Ishanachandra Manikya Dev Burman, Maharaja of Tripura, (r. 1849–1862). His father was from the royal family of Tripura while his mother was from the Manipuri-speaking Mantribari family of Dhaleshwar Agrtala. Sachin was the youngest of the five sons of his parents, who had nine children in all.

Education[edit]

Burman completed his BA from Comilla Victoria College and MA from Calcutta University[1] He started his formal music education by training under the musician K. C. Dey from 1925 to 1930; thereafter in 1932 he came under the tutelage of Bhismadev Chattopadhaya, who was only three years his senior. This was followed by training from Kahifa Badal Khan, Sarangi player, and Ustad Allauddin Khan.[2] He got K.C. Dey, Ustad Badal Khan and Allauddin Khan into Agartala. Noted Bengal poet laureate, Kazi Nazrul Islam also spent time in their family home in Comilla. That was in the early twenties

1930s[edit]

Burman started working as a radio singer on Calcutta Radio Station in the late twenties, when his work as a singer composer was based on Bengali folk and light Hindustani classical music. Consequently his compositions were mainly influenced by his huge repertory of folk-tunes from present Bangladesh and later other parts of India and around the world. His first record was also released in 1932(Hindustan Musical Product), with "Khamaj" semi classical, E Pathey Aaj Eso Priyo on one side and the folk 'Dakle Kokil Roj Bihane' on the reverse side" on 78 rpm for Hindustan Records.[3] In the following decade he reached his peak as a singer, cutting as many as 131 songs in Bengali, and also sang for composers like Himangsu Dutta (8), RC Boral (1), Nazrul Islam (4) and Sailesh Das Gupta (2) and Subal Das Gupta (1).[4] He also sang for Madhavlal Master (1) and RD Burman (1)

In 1934, he attended the All India Music Conference, at the invitation of Allahabad University, where he presented his Bengali Thumri, all to an illustrious audience, with the likes of Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit and the inimitable Abdul Karim Khan of Kirana Gharana. Later in the year, he was invited to Bengal Music Conference, Kolkata, which was inaugurated by Rabindranath Tagore, here again he sang his thumri, and was awarded a Gold Medal.[4]

He built a house, in Southend Park, Ballygunge, Kolkata, and married his student, Meera Das Gupta (1920–2007), the granddaughter of Magistrate Raibahadur Kamalnath Dasgupta from Dhaka; they married on 10 February 1938 in Calcutta,[5][6] though according to some,having married a non-royal, created a furore within the royal family, and subsequently he severed his ties with the family, and forfeited his inheritance.[7][8] According to some others, S.D.Burman severed his ties with the royal family because he was frustrated with the unjust and unfair treatment meted out to his father and his brothers by the royal family of Tripura. The couple's only child, Rahul Dev Burman was born in 1939, and later, both Meera Devi and Rahul assisted, S.D. Burman with some of the musical compositions.[9][10] S. D. Burman also did a singing role in Urdu film Selima (1934) and another role in Dhiren Ganguli's film, Bidrohi (1935)[2]

As a music composer, he started with Bengali plays, Sati Tirtha and Janani, and eventually gave his first score in film, Rajgee in 1937, his second film Rajkumarer Nirbashan (1940) became a hit, there was no turning back after that. He gave music in Bengali films like, Protishodh (1941), Abhoyer Biye (1942), and Chaddobeshi (1944) and only one Bengali film in 1969/70 after he permanently moved to Mumbai in 1946. He composed for over 20 Bengali films and 89 Hindi films in all.[4]

He made his film debut singing in Yahudi ki Ladki (1933) but the songs were scrapped and re-sung by Pahari Sanyal. His first film as a singer was finally Sanjher Pidim (1935).

1940s[edit]

In 1944, Burman moved to Mumbai, at the request of Sasadhar Mukherjee of Filmistan, who asked him to give score for two Ashok Kumar starrers, Shikari (1946) and Aath Din,[11] but his first major breakthrough came the following year with the company's Do Bhai (1947). The song Mera Sundar Sapna Beet Gaya sung by Geeta Dutt was his breakthrough song into the film industry. In 1949, came Shabnam, his biggest hit yet with Filmistan, especially noticeable for its multi-lingual hit song Yeh Duniya Roop ki Chor, by Shamshad Begum, which became a rage in those days[12]

1950s[edit]

Disillusioned with the materialism of Mumbai, Burman left the Ashok Kumar starred Mashaal (1950) incomplete and decided to board the first train back to Calcutta. Fortunately, he was dissuaded from doing so.

In 1950s, Burman teamed up with Dev Anand's Nav Ketan Productions to create musical hits like Taxi Driver, Nau do Gyarah (1957) and Kala Paani(1958). In addition, he gave music for Munimji (1955) and Paying Guest (1957). The songs sung by Mohammed Rafi and Kishore Kumar became popular. Burman da composed the music for Dev Anand's production company Navketan's first film Afsar (1950). With the success of their second film, Baazi (1951) he made it to the top and a long association with Navketan and Dev Anand was on its way. "Baazi"'s jazzy musical score revealed a new facet of singer Geeta Dutt, who was mainly known for melancholy songs and bhajans. While every song in the film was a hit, one stood out for special appeal – "Tadbir se Bigdi Hui Taqdeer", a ghazal that was occidentalised into a seductive song.The 'jaal' song 'Yeh raat Yeh chandni' by Hemant Kumar is an all time great classic.

He also wrote music for the Guru Dutt classics – Pyaasa (1957) and Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959). The soundtrack of Devdas (1955) was also composed by him. House No. 44 (1955), Funtoosh (1956), and Solva Saal (1958) were other S. D. Burman hits. In 1959 came Sujata, a masterpiece by Bimal Roy, and S. D. created magic again with "Jalte hai jiske liye" by Talat Mamood.

When Guru Dutt made comparatively light-weight films like Baazi and Jaal (1952), Burmanda reflected their mood with compositions like Suno Gajar Kya Gaye or De Bhi Chuke Hum and when Guru Dutt made his somber masterpieces – Pyaasa (1957) and Kaagaz ke Phool (1959), he was right on target with Jinhe Naaz Hai Hind and Waqt ne Kiya Kya Haseen Sitam. In 2004, the soundtrack for Pyaasa was chosen as one of "The Best Music in Film" by Sight & Sound, the British Film Institute magazine.[13]

In 1957, S. D. Burman fell out with Lata Mangeshkar and adopted her younger sister Asha Bhosle as his lead female singer. The team of S. D. Burman, Kishore Kumar, Asha Bhosle and lyricist Majrooh Sultanpuri became popular for their duet songs. Thus, he was responsible along with O. P. Nayyar for shaping Asha Bhosle as a singer of repute, who became his daughter-in-law after she married Rahul Dev Burman.

In 1958, S. D. Burman gave music for Kishore Kumar's house production Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi, the same year he was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for Music direction of 'Sujata' and remains the only music director to have won the prestigious award.[14]

1960s[edit]

Early on in his career, Burman refused to allow his voice be lip-synced on film by actors,[4] as a result, even later on, in Hindi cinema, his thin yet powerful voice was often used as bardic commentary to haunting results, as in Ore Majhi Mere Sajan Hai Us Paar Bandini (1963), Wahaan Kaun hai Tera from "Guide" (1965) and finally Safal Hogi Teri Aradhana from Aradhana (1969),[15] for which he received the National Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer for the year, 1970 .

Ill health caused a slump in his career in the early 1960s but he gave many hit films in late 1960s. In 1961, S. D. Burman and Lata Mangeshkar came together during the recording of R.D. Burman's first song for the movie Chhote Nawab (1961). They reconciled their differences and started working again in 1962.

The Dev Anand-S. D. Burman partnership, under Navketan banner, continued to churn out musical hits like Bombai Ka Baboo (1960), Tere Ghar Ke Samne (1963), Teen Devian (1965), Guide (1965) and Jewel Thief (1967). In 1963, he composed songs for Meri Surat Teri Aankhen and Manna Dey sang the song "Poocho Na Kaise Maine" in raga Ahir Bhairav. This song is inspired by a Ustad Mushtaq Hussain Khan's Khayal which was based on raga Ahir bhairavbhairavi (morning ragaa). That movie also had a song, 'Nache Mora Manwa Magan',sung by Rafi,which became landmarks in Hindi film songs.

Other S D Burman hits from this period were Bandini (1963) and Ziddi (1964). In Bandini, Sampooran Singh (well known as Gulzar), made his debut as a lyricist with the song "Mora Gora Ang lai le, mohe shaam rang daai de", although other songs were written by Shailendra. Guide (1965) starring Dev Anand, was probably the best[citation needed] of his work during the time with all the songs super hit as well as the film; but unfortunately it did not receive the Filmfare Award in best music director category for that year, which remained always a discussion among the Bollywood film pandits.

Aradhana (1969) is considered another landmark score in the Bollywood history. The music of the movie shaped the careers of singer Kishore Kumar, lyricist Anand Bakshi and filmmaker Shakti Samanta. For the song "Mere Sapno ki raani", Sachin Dev made R.D play the mouth organ[citation needed].Dev Anand and S. D. Burman continued their musical partnership in Prem Pujari (1969).

S. D. Burman had a strong sense of self-pride and was very professional in his work. He was widely respected by the industry as a genius.There was a time when Lata Mangeshkar refused to sing duets with Mohammed Rafi due to a dispute arising from sharing of royalty, and it was at the insistence of S. D. Burman, the two decided to reconcile, and again sing duets together.

1970s[edit]

Tere Mere Sapne (1971), Sharmeelee (1971), Abhimaan (1973), Prem Nagar (1974), Sagina (1974), Chupke Chupke (1975), and Mili (1975) are other classics from this period.

S D Burman went into a coma soon after rehearsing the song Badi sooni sooni (sung by Kishore Kumar) for the film Mili. He died on 31 October 1975 in Mumbai.

On 1 October 2007, marking his 101st birth anniversary, India postal department released a commemorative postage stamp, in Agartala, where an exhibition on his life and work was also inaugurated; the state government of Tripura, also confers the yearly, 'Sachin Dev Burman Memorial Award' in Music[16][17]

Relationship With Kishore Kumar[edit]

Sachin Da was the only composer who had used both Kishore and Rafi in almost equal number of songs. He regarded Kishore as his second son. Kishore confessed that it was Sachin Da, who had given him the first chance. Even after the rehearsal of Badi Sooni Sooni from Milli, when Sachin Da had a stroke, Kishore went up to the hospital and said to him that "Dada, Please don't worry, your recording is after three days, you just see how well it goes..", and the song is considered as one of the best songs of Kishore Kumar. Sachin Da also used to telephone Kishore in the dead of night and on the telephone, he would start to sing the new tunes which he composed and ask Kishore to sing with him.

Cultural references[edit]

British singer of South Asian heritage, Najma Akhtar, recorded a Shanachie Records CD of Burman's work, Forbidden Kiss: The Music of S.D. Burman, an album of covers of Burman compositions.

The Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar was named after the composer by Sachin's grandfather, who was an ardent fan of Burman.

The singer and mimicry artist Sudesh Bhonsle frequently parodies the nasal high-pitched voice and quixotic singing style of S. D. Burman.

Burman paired with tabla maestro late Brajen Biswas for his Bengali songs. The beats or 'thekas' created by Brajen Babu for these songs are unique and no one in the world can sing these songs in the original 'thekas'. All the thekas are according to the mood of the songs. But recently, painter, sculptor and singer Ramita Bhaduri sang the tough songs of Burman like 'Ami chhinu aka', 'Rangeela', 'Aankhi Duti Jhare' etc. in the original theka on the taleem of Brajen Biswas. The CD from 'Raga Music' (Symphony) was released at Kolkata Press Club. The CDs are available in M. Biswas & Symphony.

Burman had a unique style of composing film songs. While most of the composers used harmonium or piano to compose the tune, he composed tunes using rhythm such as clapping hands. He was very fond of "Paan" (Beetle leaf) and would not share the same with anybody.[citation needed]. SD Burman's first biography in English is 'Incomparable Sachin Dev Burman. Written by HQ Chowdhury it was published by Toitoomber from Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Filmography[edit]

Awards and recognitions[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

  • "Incomprable Sachin Dev Burman" by HQ Chowdhury