Raj Kapoor kept the accordion on which Naushad played the tune 74 years ago close to his heart in all his films.

Ronit Kawale
Ronit Kawale - Senior Editor
6 Min Read

Indian cinema is incomplete without music. Our films use more songs and music than any other country in the world. As Indian cinema developed over time, the use of different musical instruments made in different parts of the world also increased. One such musical instrument is the accordion, the credit for bringing it to Hindi cinema goes to music director Naushad. He used it for the first time in the year 1950 in the song 'Ta Ra Ri Ta Ra Ri' of the film 'Dastan'. This song was sung by Mohammad Rafi and Suraiya. The lyrics were written by Shakeel Badaun and the accordion was played by Gudi Sirvai. On screen, we have seen everyone from Raj Kapoor to Rishi Kapoor and Shahrukh Khan to Vinod Khanna dancing with the accordion. But the story of this musical instrument begins in May 1829. Surely Siral and his two sons Carl and Guido would not have imagined that this new patent would bring a new freshness to the music of Hindi cinema after 121 years.

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Naushad brought the accordion to cinema for the first time in 1950.

Now let us come directly to the year 1950. Young and experienced Bollywood musician Naushad was looking for a new tune and sound for the songs of his upcoming film 'Dastaan'. The film was being produced by AR Kardar. He wanted an accordionist who could add some new melodies to his compositions. There was a Parsi drummer named Kawas Lord in his orchestra. This drummer knew a man who had his own band and also played the accordion in Parsi plays. His name was Gudi Sirvai. He brought her to the studio and introduced her to Naushad. From here a new chapter of Hindi film music began. For the first time, music was played through accordion in the song 'Ta Ra Ri Ta Ra Ri…'.

The shape of the accordion changed over time

The accordion instrument has undergone many changes over time. The methods of playing it also changed. Many types of instruments were made like button accordion, unisonoric and bisonoric accordion, concertina, bandoneon, piano accordion etc. Of all these, piano accordion was the most popular in Hindi film music. This is also because the way of playing it was like a piano keyboard.

He remained an accordion stalwart in Bollywood for the next 40 years.

Even though Naushad introduced accordion music to Indian cinema, it was the instrument that instantly caught the attention of Shankar Jaikishan. They used it freely in their music. Shankar Jaikishan were the first music directors to use the piano accordion in every possible way, from songs to title music and background scores. So, who were the players who played all these songs and scores? Well, there were a few but expert musicians who could and did play it. Then there were Gudi Seervai, Kersi Lord, Sumit Mitra, Dheeraj Dhanak, K. Bharat, Enoch Daniel, Sammy Reuben and Suraj Sathe, these were the names who made Hindi cinema and its audience crazy by playing brilliant accordion in Hindi songs for four decades.

Accordion became Raj Kapoor's life

The use of accordion increased in Hindi cinema. But if any film director deserves the credit for making it most popular, then it is Raj Kapoor. Raj Kapoor liked the accordion so much that he even got the signature music of RK films composed on it. Raj Kapoor was one of those Bollywood filmmakers who started using the accordion in every film. Musicians assumed that if it is an RK film, then there will be an accordion. RK and accordion became synonymous with each other in Hindi films.

Ta Ra Ri Ta Ra Ri – Tales (1950)

This is the first song in Hindi cinema in which accordion was used. Gudi Sirvai played the accordion in it. This song was sung by Suraiya and Mohammed Rafi, its lyrics were written by Shakeel Badaun and music was given by Naushad.

Aaja Sanam Madhur Chandni Mein – Theft (1965)


The lyrics of this song sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Manna Dey have been written by Hasrat Jaipuri. Music is by Shankar Jaikishan.

Once Upon a Time Look Hazaabar Once Upon a Time Look – China Town (1962)

This song is sung by Mohammad Rafi. Lyrics are written by Majrooh Sultanpuri and music is given by Ravi. This accordion has been used in almost all genres of music, like rock n roll, jazz, pop etc. Composer Ravi has used it in between as well as along with Mohammad Rafi's singing.

I am not a poet – Bobby (1973)

When Laxmikant Pyarelal took over the reins of music for 'Bobby', he kept the tradition of accordion alive. This was also his tribute to his guru Shankar Jaikishan. He prominently used the accordion in this song and also added bass flute notes to the song.

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