Number 2 2017/08/17
Music in the 30s
One often hears that in the early days of the talkies the music was made using harmonium and tabla. How do we find out about this? We can ask people. Ardeshir Irani mentioned that they used harmonium, tabla and violin in the first talkie. You can also listen to hundreds of songs from the thirties available on my website. Try the songs of Laal-e-Yaman (1933) http://hindi-films-songs.com/main/1933_laal-e-yaman.html You will find in song 13 a very familiar tune, which was used again a few times.
Also, we know that in the Parsi theater they used more than harmonium and tabla. Knowing that a lot of early talkies were either filmed plays or based on the plays, we can guess that many instruments would have been used. Even in the era of the silent movies, the screenings were accompaniments by lots of instruments. So, if somebody tells you that only harmonium and tabla were used in the early times, don't believe them.