Right from the advent of Indian cinema in 1931, musicals with song numbers have been a regular feature in Indian cinema. In 1934 Hindi film songs began to be recorded on gramophones and later, played on radio channels, giving rise to a new form of mass entertainment in India which was responsive to popular demand. Within the first few years itself, Hindi cinema had produced a variety of films which easily categorised into genres such as "historicals", "mythologicals", "devotional, "fantasy" etc. but each having songs embedded in them such that it is incorrect to classify them as "musicals".
For over five decades, these songs formed the staple of popular music in South Asia and along with Hindi films, was an important cultural export to most countries around Asia and wherever the Indian diaspora had spread. The spread was galvanised by the advent of cheap plastic tape cassettes which were produced in the millions till the industry crashed in 2000. Even today Hindi film songs are available on radio, on television, as live music by performers, and on media, both old and new such as cassette tapes, compact disks and DVDs and are easily available, both legally and illegally, on the internet.
Songs in Bollywood movies are deliberately crafted with lyrics often written by distinguished poets or litterateurs (often different from those who wrote the film script), and set to music, carefully choreographed to match the dance routine or script of the film. They are sung by professional playback singers and lip-synched by the actors. Bollywood cinema is unique in that the majority of songs are seen to be sung by the characters themselves rather than being played in the background. Film songs have been described as eclectic both in instrumentation and style. They often employ foreign instruments and rework existing songs, showing remarkable inventiveness in the reinvention of melodies and instrumental techniques.
"While Genesis 4.21 identifies Jubal as the “father of all such as handle the harp and pipe,” the Pentateuch is nearly silent about the practice and instruction of music in the early life of Israel. Then, in I Samuel 10 and the texts that follow, a curious thing happens. “One finds in the biblical text,” writes Alfred Sendrey, “a sudden and unexplained upsurge of large choirs and orchestras, consisting of thoroughly organized and trained musical groups, which would be virtually inconceivable without lengthy, methodical preparation.” This has led some scholars to believe that the prophet Samuel was the patriarch of a school, which taught not only prophets and holy men, but also sacred-rite musicians. This public music school, perhaps the earliest in recorded history, was not restricted to a priestly class—which is how the shepherd boy David appears on the scene as a minstrel to King Saul."
Romantic Music ( c. 1810 A.D. to 1900 A.D.) turned the rigid styles and forms of the Classical era into more passionate and expressive pieces. It attempted to increase emotional expression and power to describe deeper truths or human feelings. The emotional and expressive qualities of music came to take precedence over technique and tradition. Romantic composers grew in idiosyncrasy, and went further in the syncretism of different art-forms (such as literature), history (historical figures), or nature itself with music. Romantic love was a prevalent theme in many works composed during this period. In some cases the formal structures from the classical period were preserved, but in many others existing genres, forms, and functions were improved. Also, new forms were created that were deemed better suited to the new subject matter.