Burman, S. D.
BURMAN, S. D.
Composer and Musical Director. Nationality: Indian. Born: Kumar (Prince) Sachin Dev Burman in Comilla (now in Bangladesh), 1 October 1906. Education: Graduated from Calcutta University; studied Indian classical music with Bhishmadev Chatterjee, Badal Khan, Alauddin Khan, and others. Career: Served in the court of Maharaja of Tripura; 1932—radio singer on Calcutta station; also made popular recordings of East Bengal folk songs; 1934—small singing role in Urdu film Selima; 1937—first film as musical director, Rajgi; 1944—settled in Bombay; 1945—composed first songs for film, Shikari; compiled collection of Indian folk songs. Awards: Sangeet Natak Akademi (Academy of Music and Plays) award, 1957; President of India Padmashree award, 1969; India National Film award for Aradhana, 1969; Zindagi, Zindagi, 1972. Died: In Bombay, 31 October 1977.
Films as Composer and Musical Director:
Rajgi (mus d only)
Chittor Vijay; Dil Ki Rani; Do Bhai
Asfar; Mashal; Pyar
Baaji; Bahar; Ek Naujawan; Sazaa
Jaal; Lal Kunwar
Arman; Babla; Jeewan Jyoti; Shahen Shah
Angarey; Chalis Baba Ek Chor; Radha Krishna; Taxi Driver
Davdas; House No. 44; Madh Bhare Nain; Munimji; Society
Miss India; Nao Do Egarah; Paying Guest; Pyasaa
Chalti Ka Naam Gaddi; Kala Pani; Lajwanti; Sitaron Se Aagey; Solva Saal
Insaan Jag Utha; Kaagaz Ke Phool
Apna Haath Jaganath; Bombai Ka Babu; Bewaqoof; Ek Ke Baad Ek; Kala Bazar; Manzil; Miya Bibi Raji
Baat Ek Raat Ki; Dr. Vidya; Naughty Boy
Bandini; Meri Soorat; Teri Ankhen; Tere Ghar Ke Saamne
Benazir; Kaise Kahoon; Ziddi
The Guide; Teen Deviyan
Aradhana; Jyoti; Talash
Ishq par Zor Nahin; Prem Pujari
Gambler; Naya Zamana; Sharmeelee; Tere Mere Sapne
Anuraag; Yeh Gulistan Hamara; Zindagi Zindagi
Abhiman; Chhupa Rustam; Jugnu; Phagun
Prem Nagar; Sagina; Us Paar
Chupke Chupke; Mili
Arjun Pandit; Baroon; Deewanjee
Films as Actor:
On BURMAN: articles—
Rangoonwalla, Feroze, in Screen (Bombay), 4 August 1978.
Rangoonwalla, Feroze, in Screen (Bombay), 11 August 1978.
Ragendran, Girija, in Screen (Bombay), 27 October 1978.
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S. D. Burman migrated to Bombay early in his singing career (1944) and soon climbed to the top, despite the city's cut-throat competition. Burman stayed in Bombay for more than three decades, but he continued to hold Bengal dear and it is from there that he drew his creative sustenance. His childhood exposure to the vast paddy fields and swollen, serpentine rivers of East Bengal and to the folk music of Chittagong and Comilla influenced his slightly nasal, long-drawn style of singing, evoking mood and landscape. His name on a cinema poster or advertisement was enough to guarantee box-office success in the 1950s and beyond.
Burman sang or wrote the music for over 500 songs in Hindi films from Bombay alone, in addition to his numerous recordings in Calcutta and Bombay, and though he amassed a fortune, he remained a humble, unassuming man all his life. His fame in Bombay did not rest on orchestration like Anil Biswas's or on using Indian classical music like Naushad, but on giving haunting and inimitable tunes, rather like Hemanta Mukherjee, to the work of such lyricists as Gopal Singh Nepali, Harikrishna "Premi," Y. N. Joshi, Raja Mehdi Ali Khan, "Madhukar," Anjum Pilibhiti, Prem Dhavan, Qamar Jalalabadi, Narendra Sharma, Rajendra Krishna, Shahir Ludhianvi, Shailendra, Kaifi Azmi, P. L. Santoshi, S. Athaiya, Majrooh Sultanpuri, Gulzar, Hasrat, Shakeel Badayuni, Anand Bakshi, Neeraj, Vijay Anand, Fani Badayuni, and Yogesh.
S. D. Burman's memory will be preserved among millions of his admirers through his lilting tunes, whether it was a melancholy Bhatiali of East Bengal or a love song in an indifferent Hindi film. His tunes transcend space and time and transport a listener to a milieu of romance or nostalgia. He took five to six days to decide a tune, test and retest it, before going ahead with the composition. No wonder they abide.