Ali (December 25, 1919 – May 5, 2006) was an Indian
musician. He was one of the foremost music directors (composers)
for Bollywood films.
was known for his deft adaptation of the classical musical
tradition for filmi uses. In some films, such as Baiju Bawra,
all his songs were composed in traditional raga modes.
was also able to work with Western instruments (including
the clarinet, mandolin, and accordion), Western-style orchestras,
and adapt Western musical idioms.
life and education
Naushad was raised in Lucknow, a city with a long tradition as
a center of refined North Indian culture. His father, Wahid Ali,
was a munshi (court clerk). As a kid, Naushad would visit the
annual fair at the Deva Sharif in Barabanki, 25 km from Lucknow,
where all the great qawwals and musicians of those days would
perform before the devotees, and Naushad would sit there, listening
to those wondrous melodies. He studied classic Hindustani music
there under Ustad Ghurbat Ali, Ustad Yusuf Ali, Ustad Babban Saheb,
and others. He repaired harmoniums.
a lad, he joined a junior theatrical club and was appointed as
the club's music maestro for their theatrical presentations. He
used to watch silent films at the Royal theatre in Lucknow. Theatre
owners would hire a team of musicians to play the tabla, harmonium,
sitar and violin. The musicians would watch the film first, make
notes, finalise the scales required. When the show began in the
evening, they would sit in front of the screen and play music
for the scenes. This was a great way to be entertained and learn
music at the same time. It made him grasp the nuances required
in composing a film's background music score.
time Naushad formed his own Windsor Music Entertainers or just
Windsor Entertainers, so named because he had seen the word "Windsor"
around Lucknow and liked its ring. It led to the Indian Star Theatrical
Company in a theatre at Golagunj colony in Lucknow. He was trained
under Laddan Khanhad where he became capable of working independently
as a composer. There he also developed the sense to pick rare
musical jewels from the folk tradition of Punjab, Rajasthan, Gujarat
and Saurashtra during the company's sojourns in those regions.
The traveling players got as far as Viramgam in Gujarat, where
they discovered penury, even after selling off theatrical props
and musical instruments. The company limped back to Lucknow through
the kindness of one of Naushad's friends.
had already become a cinema fan in the silent era, and then, in
1931, Indian cinema got voice and music that further fascinated
the 13 year old boy. But his family was strict follower of Islamic
diktat of prohibition of music and his father gave him ultimatum
to leave music if he has to stay at home. He ran away to Mumbai
(then called Bombay) in the late 1937 to try his luck as a musician.
Mumbai, he initially stayed with an acquaintance from Lucknow
(U.P.) at Colaba and after a while, shifted to Dadar opposite
the Broadway theater where he would sleep on the footpath. He
assisted music director Ustad Jhande Khan who was at the peak
of his success those days, at a monthly salary of Rs 40. The producer
was a Russian and the studio was at Chembur. The film could not
be completed. Naushad was a piano player so he worked as a pianist
in composer Ustad Mushtaq Hussain's orchestra. He then polished
off an unfinished film score and got a credit as assistant to
Hussain. Then the film company collapsed. Composer Khemchand Prakash
took him on as his assistant for the film Kanchan at Ranjit Studio
at a salary of Rs 60 per month, for which Naushad remained extremely
grateful and, in interviews, had called Khemchand his guru.
friend, lyricist D N Madhok trusted Naushad's unusual talent for
composing music and introduced him to various film producers.
Chandulal Shah, the owner of Ranjit Studios, offered to sign Naushad
for one of his forthcoming films. Naushad composed a lilting bhajan
for this film, ‘Bata de koi kaun gali gaye Shyam’,
but the film never got on the floors. He was assistant music director
for the Punjabi film 'Mirza Sahib' (1939).
composed for his first Independent film Prem Nagar in 1940 that
had story set in Kachchh for which he did a lot of research into
the folk music of the area. With A.R. Kardar's film Nai Duniya
(1942), he got first credit as "music director" and
he began to work regularly for Kardar Productions. He however
had a flexibility that he could work outside Kardar Productions,
and this arrangement continued ever after. He first got noticed
with A.R. Kardar's film Sharda (1942) wherein 13-year-old Suraiya
debut with Panchhi Ja song for the playback for heroine Mehtab.
It was Rattan (1944) that took Naushad right to the top and enabled
him to charge Rs 25,000 a film then.
his Lucknow based family remained against music and Naushad had
to hide the fact that he composes music from his family. When
Naushad got married, the band was playing the tunes of the super
hit songs of Naushad's film Rattan while Naushad's father and
father-in-law were condemning the musician who had composed these
songs, and Naushad dared not tell them that it was he who had
composed the music.
brought Anmol Ghadi in which he worked with Noorjehan and Shahjehan
and paired with K L Saigal, both films and the music became super
14 August 1947, Pakistan was created and on 15 August 1947, India
got independence. Communal riots broke up in entire country and
everything got divided among the religious lines of Hindu and
Muslims. Several Mumbai-based Muslim film-makers and artistes
migrated to Pakistan, but some of those who had established themselves
remained in Mumbai and were left alone as such. But newcomers
were victimised and isolated. Meetings held by some anti-Muslim
prominent artists, film-makers and journalists.
1942 until the late 1960s, he was one of the top music directors
in Bollywood. While he did less than a hundred films during his
lifetime, 26 of those films celebrated Silver jubilees (25 weeks
run) -- 8 celebrated golden jubilees (50 weeks run) and 4 celebrated
diamond jubilees (60 weeks run). (inclusive count - a diamond
jubilee film also celebrated Silver and Golden jubilee)
worked with several lyricists, including Shakeel Badayuni, Majrooh
Sultanpuri, D. N. Madhok, Zia Sarhadi, and Khumar Barabankvi.
India (1957), for which he had composed music, was the first Indian
film that got nominated for Oscar.
completed Pakeezah (1972) after its Music Director, Ghulam Mohammed's
death, who had worked earlier as his assistant for several films.
1981, Naushad was awarded the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for his lifetime
contribution to Indian cinema. In 1988 he worked in a Malayalam
Film Dhwani starring Ever Green Hero Prem Nazir. In 1995 he gave
music for Shahrukh Khan starrer, Guddu of which a few songs became
popular. In 2004, when a colorized version of the classic Mughal-e-Azam
was released, Naushad was a guest of honor at the premiere.
composed the tunes of Taj Mahal: An Eternal Love Story (2005)
at the age of 86, thus becoming the world's oldest composer.
films have been made on his life and work Naushad Ka Sangeet,
Sangeet Ka Badshah, Naushad (T. V.) 1972, Biography-by Doordarshan;
B. C. LONDON T. V. 's Movie Mahal Naushad, and T. V. Serial 'Zinda
Ka Safer Biographical books published are Dastaan-E-Naushad (Marathi)
by Shashikant Kinikar; Aaj Awat Man Mero (Gujarati); Hindi and
Urdu biographical sketches in Shama & Sushma Magazines respectively,
titled "Naushad Ki Kahani, Naushad Ki Zubani"; the last
one was translated into Marathi by Shashikant Kinikar. Kinikar
also came up with a book titled "Notes of Naushad" which
puts together some interesting anecdotes of Naushad's life.
set Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's verse, Unki yaad kare,
to song in 2006, rendered by A. Hariharan in lead voice with 40
chorus singers, produced by Keshav Communications. The poem is
dedicated to those who have lost their lives defending the country's
also loved Angling and the beauty of Nature. In 1962, he caught
his largest fish, a 52 lb. CATLA.
died on 5 May 2006 in Mumbai. He was buried at the Juhu Muslim
cemetery. His tomb was demolished in 2010 to make space for new
is survived by six daughters Zubeda, Fehmida, Farida, Sayeeda,
Rashida, Waheeda & three sons Rahman Naushad, Raju Naushad
& Iqbal Naushad. Rahman Naushad and Raju Naushad had assisted
him in some of his films. Also, Naushad composed music in two
movies 'My Friend' & 'Teri Payal Mere Geet' which was directed
by Rahman Naushad.
had requested Maharashtra state government to sanction a plot
for the Academy for promoting Hindustani sangeet which was sanctioned
during his life time & 'Naushad Academy of Hindustani sangeet'
also was an announcement that Carter Road, where Naushad's residence
was, would be renamed to 'Sangeet Samrat Naushad Ali Marg' and
it was done by Maharashtra government (M.C.G.M.) on 5 May 2008.
Naushad was also a respected and published poet and formally launched
his book of Urdu poetry entitled Aathwan Sur ("The Eighth
Note") and the Navras label's album titled "Aathwan
Sur - The Other Side of Naushad" having 8 ghazals as part
of Hounslow's book fair and festival "Bookmela" in November
1998. The album has lyrics and composition by Naushad, are arranged
by Uttam Singh.
Naushad was known for his deft adaptation of the classical musical
tradition for movies. For some movies like Baiju Bawra, he composed
all scores in classical raga modes. He could easily work with
Western instruments, including the clarinet, the mandolin, and
the accordion. He could incorporate Western musical idioms in
his compositions, and compose for Western-style orchestras.
early 1940s, recordings were done in quiet parks and gardens after
midnight because the studios did not have sound-proof recording
rooms. In the gardens, there would be no echo and disturbances,
unlike the studios where the sound reverberated because of the
tin roofs. The echo effect he used in Rattan was achieved through
a very crude but effective technique when he kept a microphone
in a toilet which had ceramic tiles and then played the music
so that the sound reverberated against those tiles, producing
an echo effect.
films like Uran Khatola and Amar, he recorded the voice of a particular
artiste on a scale of 90, then recorded it on 70, then on 50 and
so on. After the complete recording, it was played for the scene
and the impact it created was terrific.
was one of the first to introduce sound mixing and the separate
recording of voice and music tracks in playback singing. He was
the first to combine the flute and the clarinet, the sitar and
mandolin. He also introduced the accordion to Bollywood film music
and was among the first to concentrate on background music to
extend characters’ moods and dialogue through music. But
perhaps his greatest contribution was to bring Indian classical
music into the film medium. Many of his compositions were inspired
by ragas and he even used distinguished classical artistes like
Amir Khan and D.V. Paluskar in Baiju Bawra (1952) and Bade Ghulam
Ali Khan in Mughal-e-Azam (1960). Baiju Bawra (1952) demonstrated
Naushad's grasp of classical music and his ability to bring it
to the masses, for which he won the first Filmfare Best Music
Director Award in 1954.
Aan (1952), he was the first to use a 100-piece orchestra, He
was the first composer to have developed the system of western
notation in India. The notation for the music of the film Aan
was published in book form in London.
Uran Khatola (1955), he recorded an entire song without the use
of orchestra, having replaced the sound of musical instruments
with choral sound of humming.
Mughal-e-Azam (1960) song Ae Mohabbat Zindabad, he used a chorus
of 100 persons. He asked Lata Mangeshkar to render a part of the
song "Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya" in a bathroom that had
glazed tiles and then recorded the music to get the echo effect.
Ganga Jamuna (1961), he used lyrics in chaste Bhojpuri dialect.
used just 6-instruments in the title song of Mere Mehboob (1963).
2004, a colorized version of the classic Mughal-e-Azam (1960)
was released, for which Naushad had the orchestral music specially
re-created (in Dolby Digital) by today’s industry musicians,
while maintaining all the solo vocals from the original soundtrack.
To elaborate, the playback vocals (though not the chorus) recorded
four decades ago are mixed with orchestra tracks created in the
Indian film music gradually assumed a Western bend starting in
the late 1960s, Naushad came to be considered old-fashioned. Composers
who could compose rock-and-roll and disco-inflected music started
getting increasingly popular. Naushad was still esteemed as a
maestro, but his talents were sought mostly for historical movies
where traditional scores were appropriate.
Nai Duniya 1942
Station Master 1942
Pehle Aap 1944 Rafi's first song for Naushad "Hindustan ke
hum hain" in a chorus.
Anmol Ghadi 1946
Dard 1947 Debut of Singer Uma Devi (Comedy Actress Tuntun) in
the song "Afsana Likh Rahi Hoon".
Anokhi Ada 1948
Chandni Raat 1949
Baiju Bawra 1952 Debut of singers Amir Khan & D. V. Paluskar
in the song "Aaj gaavat man mero jhoomke".
Uran Khatola 1955
Mother India 1957
Sohni Mahiwal 1958 Debut of singer Mahendra Kapoor in the song
"Chaand Chhupa Aur Taarey Doobey"
Mughal-e-Azam 1960 Debut of singer Bade Ghulam Ali Khan in "Shubh
din aayo" and "Prem jogan ban ke".
Gunga Jumna 1961 Lyrics of several songs were in Bhojpuri dialect.
Son of India 1962
Mere Mehboob 1963
Main Hoon Jadugar 1965
Dil Diya Dard Liya 1966
Saaz Aur Awaaz 1966
Ram Aur Shyam 1967
Pakeezah 1971 Background Music and a few songs (Najaria Ki Maari,
Mari Mori Guiyaan) were by Naushad.
My Friend 1974
Sunehra Sansar 1975
Paan Khaae Sainyyan Humaar (Bhojpuri) 1978
Chambal Ki Rani 1979
Dharam Kanta 1982
Love and God 1986
Dhwani (Malayalam) 1988
Teri Payal Mere Geet 1989
Aawaz De Kahan Hai 1990
Taj Mahal: An Eternal Love Story 2005
Hubba Khatoon Unreleased. It's one song by Rafi, "Jis Raat
Ke Khwaab Aaye" is available.
Such a Long Journey (1998), Director: Sturla Gunnarsson, Music:
Jonathan Goldsmith, Cast: Roshan Seth, Soni Razdan, Om Puri, Nasiruddin
Shah. In this film, the song from film "Pakeezah" (1971),
"Thaade rahiyo", lyrics: Kaifi Azmi, rendered by Lata
Mangeshkar, was played during the end casting.
Maalik (1958) Music Director for this film was Ghulam Mohammed
Uran Khatola (1955)
and meant for information only.
teri payal mere geet(1989)
1954: Filmfare Best Music Director Award - Baiju Bawra
1961: Bengal Film Journalists' Association's best music director
Award for Gunga Jumna
1975: "Naushad Ali", a 30-minute documentary film produced
by Television Centre, Bombay
1981: Dada Saheb Phalke Award
1984: Lata Mangeshkar Award (Madhya Pradesh state government's)
1987: Amir Khusro Award
1992: Sangeet Natak Akademi Award
1992: Padma Bhushan
: Maharashtra Gaurav Puruskar