Improve margins and reposition quickly
Haven’t we had enough of DJs and Honey Singhs of the world being forced upon us on every wedding function? It’s time to return to our roots, with the original beats of the dhol and the auspicious melody of the shehnai Manpriya Singh
Influence would be an understatement. Bollywood has always made an overriding presence on the Indian wedding scene. While there's nothing wrong with aunts and youngsters, grandparents and cousins brought together on the floor by Gal Mithi Mithi Bol but if the definition of wedding music begins and ends with DJ's dictating the dance floor, there is a cause for concern.
A touch of tradition, not just compliments rather completes any wedding. More so, if it happens to be in music. Listing out a few of the ways to do so.
How about a dhol night?
Fortunately, we are back to times when weddings have once more started to last 3-4 days, spread over half a dozen functions. Read, sangeet, cocktail, youngster's, reception, and don't forget the wedding itself. DJ nights and dance floors have always been ruled by Bollywood and Punjabi music. While there is no ruling out what rules, especially when it sends everybody onto the dance floor. "But then this is also the kind of music that people can have access to on any given Saturday night. They anyway listen to this music while at a restaurant or on the radio," reasons Manmeet Singh, the brains behind Wedding Bells, a wedding management firm. He adds, "That's one of the reasons why traditional music is being given a shot again. Weddings these days include three big functions and for each of the functions there is a different theme, and the music is dictated by that theme," he shares while listing out options for the traditional themes, with a night dedicated exclusively to dhol and bolis.
Dhol had never been out, just that the beats now come merged with electronic music with lyrics added by the likes of Yo Yo Honey Singh and other Punjabi pop or rap artists. "Just the sound of the instrument accompanied by bolis is the best way to call in every single extended relative of the bride and the groom and announce them to the rest of the guests," shares Pushpinder Singh, a city based dhol player, who admits to have had obviated the need of an MC at several wedding events.
We're back to Shehnai
Whatever happened to the good old shehnai in between? It's back in vogue and being heard once more. If not heard, at least it is being played once more.
For the uninitiated, the tubular instrument's sound is said to contain and maintain, a sense of auspiciousness and sanctity. "Shehnai has always been traditionally associated with weddings but lately their role had been relegated to just a few minutes of formality. Now once again, there's a world of difference in music services and demands at weddings," shares Pankaj Kumar Mudariya, from Delhi based Shehnai Waden, providing music solutions. There is no dearth of instances where the instrument made its presence felt as a constant background score on the wedding day itself.
Touch of tradition with a troupe
There is a world of auspicious, happy, wedding folk songs ready to be explored and experimented with. Since the ladies these days don't come with an extra knowledge of old world music, there is always help from traditional troupes at hand. "In the pure folk songs we merge a bit of contemporary songs to please all sorts of guests. But the endeavour is always to make them connect to their culture and bring them closer to the songs of the soil," shares Sujata Bhatnagar, a playback singer who, branched out into wedding music services only since the last three years. "I have given background voice to songs. Our effort has always been to improve and synchronise pure folk songs," she adds, while promising that ghodiyaan, suhaag and jaago songs can be as entertaining as today's music. "There was a time when wedding performances were considered nothing more than a circus. Today, I have professional music teachers in my troupe. The concept of weddings has changed 360 degrees." Well, the weddings themselves have changed 360 degrees. Along with the change, what's taking place is evolution.
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