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Remembering Santoor Maestro Pt Shiv Kumar Sharma Through His Songs

Shiv Kumar Sharma best songs
Indian folk instrument Santoor musician Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma had held up the unpopular instrument with his incredible art. He died in Mumbai early this morning. He suffered a heart attack. As an artist, composer and musician, he contrived a fresh wave of instrumental music with his innovative mind. Sharma has attracted millions of music enthusiasts and admirers of Indian classical music through his performances over the last half-century.

Being India’s foremost classical musician and a virtuoso performer of the santoor, he has pioneered it as a classical instrument. Together with classical flute player Hariprasad Chaurasia, Shivji has also composed a number of India’s best-loved film songs, most notably working with Yash Chopra on Silsila (1981), Chandni (1989), Lamhe (1991) and Darr (1993). Although many musicians in the film industry have some degree of training in classical music, early film music grew largely from films. Classical music came to be seen as polar opposites.

As classical musicians of international stature, the Shiv-Hari duo is hence unique in being that also worked on fully commercial films, in particular during the post-1980s era.

Here some of Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma best songs in Bollywood films:

Silsila (1981)

On May 18, 1981, India’s oldest music label, RP- Sanjiv Goenka Group owned Saregama India Ltd. released the soundtrack of this film. The lyricists were Javed Akhtar, Hasan Kamal, Meera Dev Burman, Nida Fazli, Rajendra Krishan, and Harivansh Rai Bachchan. Lata Mangeshkar sang one of the songs, “Yeh Kahan Aa Gaye Hum.” Akhtar, who had also collaborated with Salim Khan in screenwriting, wrote his first song, “Dekha Ek Khwab.”


Suggested Reading: Five Bollywood Songs On Women’s Sexual Desires That Stay Away From Objectification


Chandni (1989)

Shiv Kumar Sharma and Hariprasad Chaurasia, known together as Shiv-Hari composed the music of this film. The film’s soundtrack was a major success in India and sold more than 10 million copies. It became the best selling soundtrack album of the year as well as the decade. According to popular opinion, it is the soundtrack which helped regain the romantic musical genre, with its songs and lyrics all being critically acclaimed, including Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (1988) and Maine Pyar Kiya (1989).

Lamhe (1991)

The song “Kabhi Main Kahoon” was created from a melody used as background music in Yash Chopra’s Chandni (1989). In the famous parody sequence, Indian actor  Waheeda Rehman danced to “Aaj Phir Jeene Ki Tamanna Hai” – her iconic performance from the all-time classic and R.K. Narayan-based film, The Guide (1965).

Darr (1993)

The Shiv-Hari duo also composed the songs of this film. The words are by Anand Bakshi. As the second best-selling Bollywood soundtrack album of the year, the music album sold about 4.5 million units in India. The soundtrack earned 10.8 crore rupees.