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About the Book

The history of popular music in India is inextricably linked to the many conditions of music production and consumption that are unique to the country. At the heart of India’s popular music culture, however, is the fact that the country’s commercial filmmakers often wield the most direct financial interest in Indian popular song. Across India’s print, cinematic, and broadcast media, film songs have been imbued with powerful semiotic, cultural, and industrial connections to the images, emotions, and ideologies of the films of which they are a part.

This is the first book to tackle the diverse styles and multiple histories of popular musics in India. It brings together fourteen of the world's leading scholars on Indian popular music to contribute chapters on a range of topics from the classic songs of Bollywood to contemporary remixes, summarized by a reflective afterword by popular music scholar Timothy Taylor. The studies in this volume address the impact of media and technology on contemporary music, the variety of industrial developments and contexts for Indian popular music, and historical trends in popular music development both before and after the Indian Independence in 1947. The book identifies new ways of engaging popular music in India beyond the Bollywood musical canon, and offers several case studies of local and regional styles of music. The chapters in this volume address the subcontinent's historical relationships with colonialism, the transnational market economies, local governmental factors, international conventions, and a host of other circumstances to shed light on the development of popular music throughout India. To illustrate each chapter author’s points, and because not all of the music discussed in the book is readily available in North America, the book features an Oxford web music companion website of audio and video tracks.

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