Top 10 intro tunes I recalled

During my college days, we played this game called Tune-Ah! Simple stuff, you have to recognize a movie song from the introductory instrumental notes/tune. I used to be good at the game, I reckon I still am. Last evening, while listening to Hindi film music, I thought of doing a list of songs that have super catchy, quality and memorable intro tunes. And these 10 came to my mind most readily. Here are the tunes and composers:

  1. Pal pal dil ke paas (K-A): That guitar and accordion intro.
  2. Pehla nasha (Jatin-Lalit): A slow paced piano intro leading to the song. I learned keyboards only to be able to play this tune! And J-L are yet to beat the standards they set with this song. I hear this intro is an ‘inspired’ one.
  3. Chura liya (RDB): Can you forget the guitar tune which is more catchy than the main song itself?
  4. Ye chand sa roshan chehra (OP Nayyar): Pacy and melodious guitar says copyright OPN.
  5. Tere bina (RDB, Ghar): What fun with tabla! Catchy tune for sure, though the song itself isn’t that great or classic.
  6. Papa kahte hain (Anand-Milind): A-M’s signature tune. Hope it was an original one, and so were all the QSQT songs.
  7. Wo ladki hai kahaan (S-E-L): The bagpiper like instrument and that tune defines the song, and perhaps the movie as well.
  8. Hai apna dil to awara (Hemant Kumar): Everyone’s favorite harmonica tune. Harmonica manufacturers should pay 5 percent royalty to Hemant Kumar for every instrument they sell.
  9. Hum hain rahi pyar ke (SD Burman): Know a better memorable tune all done on whistle?
  10. Dhoom machale (Pritam): That flute intro tune is all I listen to this song for. Though I am almost sure Pritam copied it from elsewhere.

I know a top 10 list like this is a dicey thing to attempt. So I am not claiming it is one. It is more a test of my musical recollection abilities, and with these criteria:

  • instrumental
  • not the tune of main song itself
  • catchy and melodious. When I hum these, I start with the intro tune!

How is it then? And tell me if you see any criminal omissions here.


17 Responses

  1. Good list! Most of them are among my favourites! And your criteria is spot on, too! I had made a list of songs (not favourites), where you cannot resist singing the interlude, or the music that plays between two lines.
    1) Dekha hai pehli baar, saajan ki aankhon mein pyaar .. Ting-ta-ta-ding, ting-ta-da-ding…
    2) Maye ni maye munder pe teri bol raha hai kaaga, jogan hogayi teri dulaari man jogi sang laaga…… ting ting tadadadadading, ting ting tadadadadading….(the mandolin)..
    There were others, but this list was made a long time ago… can’t remember them now.

  2. Bang on! How about ‘Gaata rahe mera dil….’

  3. Instrumental preludes yess – good thing to talk of:
    1)The guitars strumming in Dum maro dum (RDB In Hare Rama Hare Krishna)
    2) The devastating effect of church bells in Na ja mere humdum (RDB in Pyar ka mausam)
    3)The brief stringed instrument (?Cello) prelude in Pyar kiya to darna kya (Naushad in Mughal e Azam)
    4) The sitars of Dhundo dhundo re saajna (Naushad in Ganga Jumuna)
    4)The sarod and flute in plaintiff mood starting off Chalte Chalte (Ghulam Mohammad in Pakeezah)and the whistling train tho’ that is strictly an interlude and refrain.
    5)The piano notes before Dil ke jharoke mein (Shankar Jaikishan in Brahmachari)
    6) The drum rolls before Eena meena deeka (C Ramchandra in Asha)
    7)The guitar before the amazing Aap jaisa koi ( Kalyanji Anandji (? Biddu)in qurbani.
    8) The wailing violins in Ek pyaar ka nagma (Lakshmikant Pyaarelal in Shor)
    9) The merry drums and trumpets before Papa kehte hain ( Anand Milind in Quyamat se quyamat tak)
    10)The Veena, sitar and assorted instruments before the mesmerising jaane kaise sapnon main kho gayi ( Ravishankar in Anuradha)

    I could go on and on but dear SB you specified fav 10. True not all these are neither block busters or instantly recognizable. But once you hear them they steal your breath and literally leave you gasping.

  4. Well I omitted to mention- it seems Anand Milind’s QSQT seems to be our common meeting point on preludes!

  5. Shruthi – i too have a list like that – songs with very catchy interludes. That Saajan song is the best example.
    Insomnya – Gaata Rahe doesn’t have an instrumental interlude.
    Hotgal (could you use another handle!) – Well, great list. If I were to take the catchy/instantly recognizable criteria off, then I have a slightly separate list.
    However, did you notice that there is no AR Rahman song in either of our lists. Coincidence? Or is it that Rahman’s preludes are not memorable (melodious) enough – too complicated, with stress on synthesized sounds and harmony based wizardry?

  6. Criminal omissions (when it comes to recognizing a song based on the BGM) :

    – Tere Mere Milan Ki Yeh raina (Abhimaan)
    – Dekha Ek Khwab (Sil Sila)
    – Roop Tera Mastana (Aradhana)
    – Mere sapnon Ki (Aradhana)
    – Ayega Ayega (Mahal)

  7. Decemberstud – for these songs, when I think of them, do I sing/hum these intro preludes as well (that was my criteria) ? Probably for ‘Mere sapno ki rani’. And may be may be “Tere mere milan kee ye raina”. But not others in your list. But yes, all these have nice/quality musical arrangements at the very start. Nobody can deny that.

    Either way, there are lots more:

    – Dil pukare (RDB, Jewel Theif): those nice rhythmic strings
    – Aaj kal tere mere pyar ke charche (SJ, Brahmachari): electric guitar start
    – Jaaneman tum kamaal kartee ho (Khayyam, Trishool): very long and nice intro
    – Pukarta chala hoon main (OPN, Mere sanam): Slow guitar tune
    – Mere Saathiya (Shiv-Hari, Parampara): obscure one, but listen to this intro and tell me
    – Sanson kee jaroorat hai (Nadeem-shravan, Aashiqui): hope that guitar tune is original
    – Ek din bik jaayega (RDB, forget-the-movie): lot of music at start.
    I think I (or for that matter you, Hotgal, others) can go on and on. Thats why I self-imposed those filters. And just put the first 10 that came to my mind!

  8. Ek din bhik jaayega maati ki mol- from Dharam Karam the only movie where RDB scores for Raj Kapoor at least for RK Films.

  9. I need the piano notes for Kabhi Alvida na kehna(all songs) and Saathiya theme song.

  10. How about
    – Dhoom machale Dhoom machale.. intro music
    – Intro to: Aaja Aaja.. main hoon pyar tera… (Teesri Manzil)
    – Salaam Namaste (dont know what musical instrument it is.. its a short and peppy intro, and it sounds really amazing in the Dhol mix version of the song :))

  11. People should realise that RDB is the most foolish music composer in Bollywood till date. He just stole western and arabic tunes without any shame. A simple research will show that more than 75% of his tunes are copied ones and the rest are his own and they are big flops. Its painful for me to see when people bestow undue greatness on him.

    O P Nayyar is the best music composer India will ever see.

  12. 75% sounds a bit high Ahmed. Examples? If I think as I type this, “Do lafzon ki hai”, “Mehbooba”, “Ye ladka hai alla” sound like it (mid eastern). Tell us more, we want to know. Or do tell Karthik (of itwofs fame) for sure.

    Though as a big OPN fan, I do agree that OP has been the greatest of them all so far !

  13. ‘pal pal dil ke paas tum rehti ho’ is a song composed by ‘Kalyanji Anandji’ and not RD Burman

  14. Yep, good catch. I slipped there. Blackmail is K-A. Corrected.

  15. Hi Shruthi

    May i know what is the title of the interlude Ting-ta-ta-ding, ting-ta-da-ding…

  16. i want music tune

  17. Are there senior citizens in Bangalore playing the chromonica, chordomonica. They belong to the older generation which enjoyed music of Naushad, Ramachandra, Nayyar, Sh & Jaikishen etc., and Western music including pop and jazz?
    We do have a Sr. citizen group in Pune who play together in parks on select holidays.

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