Binaca Geetmala, how good it was

Tell me how do you rate music or a singer.  Who decides and based on what criteria.

Binaca Geet Mala

Amin Syani had a unique (and unprecedented at that time) methodology to determine the best. Based on sales of records and letters received from public and fans he conducted a fairly unbiased competition. He must be credited for making it look so authentic. Doing all those calculations manually,  he did arrive at conclusions for the best song of the year that liked by most of the people.

He also manifested a methodology of establishing trends that determined songs going up and down the ladder, week to week. I think he gave it up because interference from producers started materializing and the radio gave way to television. We all remember and cherish it all the way. It was so considerate for him to arrange a recap of Indian Film Music on You Tube, on popular demand.

These days, we are must better equipped to do a similar thing using the internet and public opinion available on YouTube. But the question is who will do it.

Will you all participate? What’ll be the most authentic methodology? Which opinions would be collected ? Are we ready ? Are we unbiased by modern ill-famed diversity in India, states, caste and creed !!

But the fundamental question still remains, what makes a song good, composition, lyrics,  the singer and how was the song recorded and presented.

To our bad luck, going by the opinions of stalwarts in music, these days a mediocre singer flourishes because of godfathers in the media or in social circles, or because he is rich enough to portray him or herself. In a concert, he or she gets a special treatment and also the applause. Sometimes, in the case of unknown singers, the irony is that both the great and an average singer get the same applause from the audience that is present n the hall. Not because the audience is being generous, but because the audience is scantily equipped for judgement.

Our difficulties and issues

  • Doesn’t the audience claim to be singers themselves by its behavior? Wish that those who had a loud voice or mannerisms were at least an average singer.
  • Is it not that individuals who know almost nothing about notes venture to present a full song with pride?
  • Is it not that many singers are carried away by the beat in their mind and they go out of step with the beat being played.
  • And the worst is when people recommend songs that they somehow like, to the others, even when the song is irritating and useless.
  • And if you happen to be present in a friend’s house who insists on playing the music of his choice, and insists that you listen to it with apt attention as if he is a connoisseur of music. And you are doomed if you are living in their house for a few days.

Facebook Posts versus Playlists

And now I must turn to the posts on Facebook of songs that are otherwise available on the you-tube. While some of our friends post great songs, great not because they or you like them, but great because they were popular on Bianca Geet Mala or otherwise, there are others who flood the Facebook with posts that is utter garbage.

The discoverers and promoters of failed, unpopular and forgotten songs, which they grade as rare, must appreciate that those songs failed because they were not liked by people. If people in the past disliked them, then today’s world, which is in a hurry, will never spend time on those. You as the posting individual will at the least spoil your own image, instead of building your popularity.

So why do you perpetually propagate the torture of making others listen to these unworthy songs. Why don’t you instead prepare a playlist and leave it for us to judge whether we must use your playlist or make our own? Why don’t you give others a chance to make you listen to something that is worthwhile from global standards rather than your obscure interpretations?

To prove my paradox, here is a collection of playlists that I think is the best, but 75 percent of you will reject these as the worst ..

Talat Mehmood – Popularity in our times

Andre Rieu of Norway – Modern yet Classic

Help the artists flourish

When artists do not get adequately compensated is there an option for them other than being mediocre. When pirated music is available on YouTube, what is the motivation for a singer to record his own work and not even recover what he or she invested.

Give them the feedback so that they can improve rather than saying “You were great, you are the best etc”. If you think that your assessment is acceptable, then at least give it a second thought. Appreciate an artist based on some guidelines of melody, rhythm, harmony, timbre, volume, scale on which he or she sings, and his or her performance as a performing artist.

The trend of praising and liking everything posted on Facebook must stop. We must not make our virtual world more misty and vague.

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