Top 10 Music Directors In Bollywood

Top 10 Music Directors In Bollywood

Bollywood is more than 100 years old and it has given us so many good movies back to back from generation to generation. Not only good movies but good music too. Music has always remained a focal point of Bollywood. Movies without music and dance are definitely not Bollywood. Well, some people do not like the dance and music scenarios in between the action-packed drama motion pictures, but the whole team of The Music Cart is definitely a fan. We are very sure, you are too! Else you wouldn’t be reading this blog. 

The role of melodious music has always played an important role in the success of Bollywood movies. Once the songs of the movie are hit, the audience lashes out to the cinema halls in numbers and makes sure that the movie becomes a blockbuster. There are many examples like – Delhi 6, Bluffmaster, Rockstar, and how could we forget Aashiq Banaya Aapne? All these movies had an extraordinary song with an ordinary storyline, still, all were box office blockbusters because of their soulful tracks. 

So, when we are talking about Bollywood songs, we all usually remember them but the name of the movie, actors, actresses, or singers. But, we forget about those legends who are responsible for the creation of the songs – The Music Directors. Today to honor them, we at The Music Cart will present you a list of Top 10 Music Directors In Bollywood.

Top 10 Music Directors In Bollywood-

1. Shankar Jaikishan

#1 Music Director In Bollywood
Music Director In Bollywood

It’s no surprise that Shankar-Jaikishan is one of the best music directors in the Bollywood music industry.  We can also say they both were way ahead of the time if we compare it with our other 9 music directors. Many music directors have come and gone, but no one has been able to replace the music given by these two.

The incomparable pair of composers Shankar-Jaikishan ruled music charts for nearly 20 years until Jaikishan’s drifting death in 1971. As with other music directors, it’s not easy to list Shankar’s top 10 or top 100 songs.  Raj Kapoor and Shammi Kapoor’s top hits were composed by them. The duo worked with singer Mukesh and Md. Rafi a lot. Mukesh attributed his voice to Raj Kapoor and  Mohd. Rafi became the voice of Shammi Kapoor. Years may come and many new music directors may emerge but Shankar-Jaikishan will always be the emperors of Bollywood.

2. Rahul Dev Burman

#2 Music Director In Bollywood
Music Director In Bollywood

R. D. Burman is one of the pioneers of rock music in Bollywood. He has given some of the best youthful songs, in collaboration with Kishore Kumar and Asha Bhosale. For many who don’t know, R.D Burman married the legendary singer Asha Bhosle in 1980. Rahul Dev earned immense respect in the country not because he was the son of legendary Music Director S.D Burman. But because he himself was one of the greatest music directors in Bollywood.

He started his music career by assisting his father S D Burman, but very soon he was on his own and made exceptional music in films like “Teesri Manzil”, “Padosan”, “Kati Patang”, “Amar Prem”, “Hum Kisi Se Kam Nahi”, “Love Story” and “Betaab”. Just before his death in 1994, he gave music to a masterpiece “1942 A Love Story” which will always be remembered for its amazing songs. He was very much influenced by Western, Arabic, Latin, Oriental music and he experimented with them in his compositions. He has received three film fare awards and many other achievements in his long career of three and a half-decade.

3. A.R. Rahman

#3 Music Director In Bollywood
Music Director In Bollywood

Next on the list is A.R Rahman – who is currently the most famous music director of Bollywood. He is responsible to bring a change in the Bollywood music industry by blending technology with music. Also known as the Musical Wizard he has bagged 15 Filmfare awards. He has won two Academy Awards and two Grammy Awards for the best score of Slumdog Millionaire that came out in 2008. 

The very first film he worked on as a music director was Mani Ratnam’s ‘Roja’ that came out in 1992. He won a Filmfare award and a National Award for the best music for that movie. His work is known widely in India and is also critically acclaimed internationally. Some of his award-winning compositions are “Roja”, “Bombay”, “Lagaan”, “Taal”, “Dil Se” and “Saathiya”.

4. Sachin Dev Burman

#4 Music Director In Bollywood
Music Director In Bollywood

Sachin Dev Burman, also known as S.D. Burman is one of the great music directors from who we can look up and take inspiration.  He was a music director of repute who excelled in Jazz and was known to be the most versatile singer.

S.D. Burman started his career in 1937 with Bengali films and later started composing songs for Hindi movies. He soon made his place among the best singers and music directors. For most of his career, he was associated with Navketan Films – the banner belonged to superstar Dev Anand. He is also the father of R.D Burman, who also became the legendary music director just like his father. There are many singers who became famous while singing his compositions like – Kishor Kumar and Asha Bhosle. Some of the most critically acclaimed works are for the films “Aradhana”, “Baazi”, “Guide”, “Jewel Thief”, “Devdas” and “Abhiman”.

5. Naushad

#5 Music Director In Bollywood

Naushad Ali is another versatile music composer who is known as one of the most talented music composers in the history of Bollywood. Naushad Ali came to Mumbai from Lucknow to start a career in music. He is also known as one of the first composers in the music history of Bollywood. Lata Mangeshkar and Mohammad Rafi were among the legendary singers who started their careers with the tunes of Naushad Ali.

In his entire career, he composed the music of around 100 movies out of which 26 of them went on to celebrate jubilees. Naushad brought classical music flavors to commercial Hindi cinemas and has worked on several hit movies like “Mother India”, “Mere Mehboob”, “Ganga Jamuna”, “Mela” and “Mughal e Azam”. Naushad Ali also received Dada Saheb Phalke Award to honor his great contribution to Indian cinema and is one of the Top 10 Music Directors In Bollywood.

6. O.P Nayyar

#6 Music Director In Bollywood
Music Director In Bollywood

Omkar Prasad Nayyar is also known as O.P. Nayyar is an immortal name that will always be remembered for his iconic compositions of songs in the Bollywood industry. He was at his peak and ruled the industry during the 1950s.

O.P.Nayyar was known because of the melodious and peppy music he created. He composed songs that were often sung by Rafi, Asha, Lata, and Geeta Dutt. He had a long career of 4 and a half-decade and composed music for several films including Mr and Mrs 55 (1955), CID (1956), and the 1957 film Naya Daur. For the movie Naya Daur he also won the film fare award for Best Music.

7. Madan Mohan

#7 Music Director In Bollywood

Madan Mohan was an exceptional music director who will always live in the hearts of each and every Indian music lover. In a war film named ‘Haqeeqat’, there were two songs namely “Kar Chale hum Fida” and “Hoke Majboor Mujhe” which were composed by Madan Mohan. These two songs have sentiments that every Indian can connect to.

He had a long career of 25 years and did around 100 films out of which 25 were blockbusters. He worked in limited films due to his fastidious nature. This was the reason he was overlooked many times. Also, there are a number of tunes composed by him that were never used in any films. He has worked with melody queen Lata Mangeshkar who used to add extra flavor to his unique music. His main singing style was ghazal and he gave hit music for films “Aankhen”, “Anpadh”, “Dulhan Ek Raat ki”. Veer Zaara was the latest movie in which his music was used by Yash Chopra.

8. Vishal Bharadwaj

#8 Music Director In Bollywood
Music Director In Bollywood

Vishal Bhardwaj is a multi-purpose talented artist who is an Indian film director, writer, composer, singer, and producer. In his ongoing career, he has composed music for almost 40 movies, directed ten, and produced five movies. He has directed movies such as Makdee, The Blue Umbrella, Kaminey, 7 Khoon Maaf, Matru Ki Bijli Ka Mandola, Rangoon, and Pataakha. Some of his best works are the internationally acclaimed Shakespeare Trilogy – Maqbool, Omkara, and Haider which were adapted from Macbeth, Othello, and Hamlet, respectively.

He has also received a national award for Best Music Direction for Ishqiya (2010), Best Dialogues, and Best Music Direction for Haider (2014). He has won a total of 7 national awards and 3 International awards.

9. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy

#9 Music Director In Bollywood

The powerful trio – Shankar Ehsaan Loy is among the well-known contemporary and timeless music directors that have given many super hit Bollywood songs. Shankar Ehsaan Loy is known to combine perfect Hindustani and Vocal music with western fusion and pop. What sets them apart is the versatility and timeless music compositions that are very unique. uniqueness. They have a very Indianness which fits perfectly with an international tone and global hues in their music.

They have composed songs in many languages such as Hindi, English, Telugu, Tamil, and Marathi, which makes them trending in the whole of India. Some of their famous works are Rock On (2008), Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (2011), DilChahta Hai (2001), Kal ho Na Ho (2003), TaareZameen Par (2007).

10. Khayyam

#10 Music Director In Bollywood

The next name on the list of top 10 music directors in Bollywood is Khayyam. His original name was Mohammed Zahur Khayyam Hashmi but was usually known as Khayyam. He is behind some of the greatest musical hits of the Hindi cinema, such as songs of “Umrao Jaan”, “Kabhie Kabhie”, “Razia Sultan” and “Footpath” on this list.

Khyaam though being one of the greatest music directors was very humble. He worked with Asha Bhosle which boosted her career after “Umrao Jaan”. This great man took Asha Bhosale to the heights of stardom with “Umrao Jaan”. He has won three Filmfare awards and a one-lifetime achievement award in 2010.

Honorary Mentions

There are so many talented music directors that it was not possible to include everyone in our list of Top 10 Music Directors In Bollywood. So, we at The Music Cart present you with some other honorary mentions who almost made it to our Top 10 List.

Usha Khanna

Music Director In Bollywood


Music Director In Bollywood

Kalyan ji Anandji

Bappi Lahiri

Anu Malik

Music Director In Bollywood
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Aniket Srivastava

Hello, I am Aniket Srivastava. I recently graduated as an Architect from Ghaziabad. Currently, I am working as a Content Writer for Music Cart.

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