Since their beginnings in the 1930s, Hindi films and film songs have dominated popular culture in South Asia and the diaspora. They have also gained considerable popularity among other audiences in Russia, the Middle East, parts of Africa, and have more recently been making their presence felt in mainstream British and US popular culture. Hindi film songs have been described on the one hand as heavily standardized, and on the other as highly eclectic. Their commercial success is similarly paradoxical.Anna Morcom examines the subject from the perspectives of ethnomusicology, popular music studies, film music studies and South Asian studies. The unique findings of this book illustrate that the primary context of Hindi film songs is not just the culture and society of South Asia, but also the world created by their parent films and Hindi cinema in general. Morcom argues that film song as a musical style and as a commercial and social phenomenon does not make sense unless the cinematic context is taken into account. The relationship of film songs and films is explored at the levels of production, musical style, commercial life and audience reception.
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