The Heartbeat of Percussion in Hindi Film Music – Homi Mullan

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No one can deny the contribution of the instruments in making the songs immortal. Music has been the soul of Hindi cinema. Music lovers have, time and again, been hypnotized by the mesmeric charm of thousands of melodies that have become an inseparable part of their lives. It would be just to say that music aficionados may never have lived through the same myriad ecstasies had it not been for the deft artistry of the ‘back-stage’ assistant music directors, arrangers, musicians and instrument players.

Homi Mullan was an integral part of some of the greatest Hindi movie music scores of the last few decades.Though Homi Mullan is known as a percussionist, he was trained in the piano and the accordion while growing up in Kolkata. When he shifted to Mumbai in the late ‘60s, he was mostly asked to play percussion instruments. He played the duggi for several evergreen songs, such as Ni sultana re (Pyar Ka Mausam, 1969) and Bahon mein chale aao (Anamika, 1973), as a percussionist much in demand in the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s, he has been equally adept at playing a host of other instruments including the castanet for Yunhi gaate raho (Saagar, 1985), the triangle for Aao na gale lagao na (Mere Jeevan Saathi, 1972), the chanda for Bachna ae haseeno (Hum Kisi Se Kum Naheen, 1977), the kalimba for Jhuk gayi aankhen (Bhola Bhala, 1978), and the Afro harp for Jab andhera hota hai (Raja Rani, 1973). The list is endless.

His career was eventful, during which he worked with most of the top musicians in the industry, including Salil Chowdhury, SD Burman, OP Nayyar, Shankar-Jaikishan and RD Burman. Later on he became an integral part of RD Burman’s team of talented musicians where he mainly played the percussions.

Homi Mullan passed away on 26th Dec, 2015. We pay our respectful homage to his departed soul.


Avid music lover and Dev Anand fan

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