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Saraswati Devi , The Earliest Female Music Director

Discussion in 'Music and Dance' started by Cheeniya, Jul 29, 2018.

  1. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Saraswati Dewi was born on 1921 in Parsi family bearing the name of Khurshid Mankesha Minocher-Homji.
    She studied Hindustani classical music from a young age under Vishnu Narayan Bhatkhande. She later joined Morris College, now rechristened as Bhatkhande Deemed Music University in Lucknow. In the 1920s, she started her career in singing at the newly established All India Radio in Mumbai. She and her sister Manek Homji hosted a popular program known as the ‘Homji Sisters’ Orchestra’.
    Saraswati Devi met Himanshu Rai, the producer and founder of Bombay Talkies during a music concert in Lucknow. He invited her to move to Bombay and join him as a music director. Saraswati Devi began her career as a music director in Bombay Talkies in 1935, with the movie Jawani Ki Hawa. She had to train actors and actresses in singing since playback did not exist then. She herself was responsible for introducing playback singing in Mumbai by singing a song for her sister Chandraprabha. In 1936, she composed music for the film Janmabhoomi, featuring one of the first nationalist songs of Hindi cinema – Jai Jai Janani Janmabhoomi. The song’s chorus later became the signature tune for BBC’s Indian News Service.
    By 1949, Saraswati Devi had worked on more than twenty movies. Her music was heavily influenced by her classical background. She composed and recorded ghazals with Habib Wali Muhammed for HMV music label, now known as Saregama. Her last composition was for the 1961 movie Babasa Ri Ladli.
    She died in 1980 at the age of 68. (Sourced from Web)
    Shall we now listen to her music?


    From the movie Jhoola (1941). This song was later adopted in Padosan (1968)


    From the movie Jeevan Naiya-(1936) sung by Ashok Kumar This song was later adopted by Kishore Kumar in Jhumroo (1961)


    From the movie Jhoola (1941). Leela Chinis was the star with Ashok Kumar as hero.


    From the movie Achhut Kanya starring Devika and Ashok Kumar


    From Janmabhoomi (1936) starring Ashok Kumar and devika Rani
    Ashok Kumar was really the Monarch those days!
     
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  2. kkrish

    kkrish IL Hall of Fame

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    Sir
    Her name itself is a good omen.
    Goddess of music leading other women.
    Listening to the songs as I type, sir.

    Thank you very much.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2018
  3. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    @kkrish
    My dear kk
    Thanks a lot for your instant response. In fact I spent a lot of time in selecting five songs. What amazed me was the presence of Ashok Kumar in almost every film. What a man!
    Sri
     
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  4. GeetaKashyap

    GeetaKashyap IL Hall of Fame

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    Quite an achievement considering the period they were in! Ek chatura naar; the original version is simple and jovial. Ashok Kumar looks so nice. He was multi-talented and maintained a warm personality throughout.
    At this rate, I will become a musicologist in a few days.:banana: Thank you, Cheeniya Sir.
     
  5. Mistt

    Mistt IL Hall of Fame

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    Hi Uncle,
    It is interesting and nice pleasure to know about Saraswathi Devi ji the second female music director in the Indian film industry, after Jaddan Bai and ‘Ik chatur naar’ & ‘Koi humdum na raha’ were originally tuned by Saraswati Devi.

    I'm listening her songs one by one and liked few songs from her hit compositions. What I observed was most of the songs she tuned for Mr. Ashok Kamar.

    Chal chal re Naujawan from Bhandhan



    Mere bichude huve from Jhoola



    Kheth ki Muli from Achhut Kanya

     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2018
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