Hindustani Film Music Information Storage and Retrieval: Using MS Access Database Management System

By Bhat, Nazir Ahmad | Library Philosophy and Practice, September 1, 2013 | Go to article overview

Hindustani Film Music Information Storage and Retrieval: Using MS Access Database Management System


Bhat, Nazir Ahmad, Library Philosophy and Practice


Introduction

Since the very beginning of sound film production in India by 1931, virtually all Indian commercial films have had a musical format, nowadays including about six or seven songs per film. In 1934, the first gramophone records of film songs were produced and played on the radio (Joshi 1988: 150), thus launching film song as a mass mediated, popular music in India. For over five decades, these film songs, also known as 'film music', almost exclusively constituted what was popular music in South Asia, and despite the expansion in the music world, that has taken place from the 1980s following the advent of cassettes in India (Manuel, 1993), film songs are still the dominant form of popular music in this part of the world. It is said that 'Indians love music', that songs and music mark the most important aspects of Indian life - life cycle rituals such as birth and marriage, and also festivals and worship - and hence Hindi films are full of songs. Whilst most Indians undoubtedly love music and music is a part of traditional (and also modern) life in India. Since around 1940, songs in Hindi films began to be sung by 'playback' singers rather than the actors themselves, and this soon became the norm. (Poe, Marshall T., 2011). Despite relatively little criticism, film songs have become a ubiquitous part of modern India. They have become the music of public space in India, being heard from open windows in peoples' homes, on buses, work places and in bazaars. They are sung and danced to by millions of people in a range of formal and informal contexts, and have been appropriated in many folk genres (Manuel 1993; Marcus 1992/3 & 1994/5; Booth 1990 & 1991/2; Larkin 1997).

Problem

The survey of the sources available in print and digital format reveals that a couple of efforts have been made to develop information storage and retrieval system for Hindi film music. The noteworthy among them are Library Management and Information System (LMIS) of IT Division earlier known as EDP Cell of the then Directorate of All India Radio, New Delhi. LMIS is a standalone software about which no documentation was traceable. The investigator while working in library of Radio Kashmir Srinagar used the software and found that it is capable of storing bibliographical level information about Hindi Film Music that too covering limited number of entities and attributes. Besides it, need is felt to define some additional parameters in the base tables. Moreover, being a standalone software, it could not be used in advanced network atmosphere on shared basis. The investigator found that the software could neither be upgraded nor operated over Windows 2007 Operating System and MS Access 2007. Besides LMIS, some online portals have been developed by different commercial and voluntary agencies, which provide links to audio/video files of Hindi Film Music. A large number of such portals are visible across the web, however, the Libraries cannot rely on these portals and need a reliable software ensuring legal, safe & secure storage and reliable, fast and accurate retrieval of desired audio/video content. Moreover, there should be a mechanism to play the content simultaneous upon their retrieval without losing any time. The time is not far when the Radio/TV Libraries will have their entire audio/video collection in digital form. So the software should envisage instant linking system to such digital files from the database itself.

In order to solve these problems and find a reliable and lasting solution, need was felt to design and develop a system capable of storing the information and retrieving same through all possible approaches of users (library staff, listeners and programme producers). Need is felt to devise a sustainable/lasting soft solution to facilitate prompt and quick retrieval of audio/video content. The prime demand of the time is to lay a foundation stone for development of a digital library with scope to share it over local, national or wide area networks. …

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