R. D. Burman

Other names of R. D. Burman: Rahul Dev Burman
Birthday: 27-06-1939
Date of death: 04-01-1994
Star sign: Cancer

Rahul Dev Burman, better known as Pancham by the film fraternity, is a famous Bollywood music director who introduced a western style of music in Indian cinema.  He is the son of veteran music director Sachin Dev Burman and his wife, Meera. R D Burman filmography can be found here. The music composer was born in Calcutta on 27 June 1939. It is said that he has derived his name from the fifth note of Indian scale (musical scale).  His crying in childhood always resembled the fifth note of Indian scale (music), so his parents called him ‘Pancham.' 

This music director dominated the film industry during 1970’s. He was influenced by Western, Arabic, Latin music and often blended them with Indian folk tunes. He also revolutionized the music industry by introducing jazz elements, disco and rock elements in his musical score. The music director was introduced by comedian Mehmood in Chote Nawab (1961). His first hit was Teesri Manzil (1966) after which he never looked back in his musical journey.

Before becoming an independent musical director, Burman also worked as an assistant music director for his father S.D. Burman and assisted him in movies like ‘ Bandini’, “Guide’, ‘ Kagaz Ke Phool’, ‘Teen Deviyaan’, ‘ Jewel Thief’, etc. which released in late 50’s and early 60’s. The composer Rahul Dev Burman (R.D. Burman) was influenced by his father’s talents and learned music from home. He learned sarod from Ali Akbar Khan. He even learned harmonica and other instruments and had the ability to play any instrument very quickly.
When Burman was just nine years old, he composed his first song which his father used for his film ‘Funthoosh’(1956). The music director was also instrumental in Rajesh Khanna’s superstardom, and he gave many hits such as ‘ Amar Prem’, ‘Kati Patang’, ‘Aap Ki Kasam’, etc. (although ‘Teesri Manzil’ and ‘Caravan’ remains a milestone in his career). During 1970’s he became the most sought-after music director In Bollywood and gave excellent and haunting musical score in ‘ Hare Rama Hare Krishna’, ‘ Anamika’, ’Yadon Ki Barat’, ‘ Sholay’, ‘ Seeta Aur Geeta’, ‘Hum Kisise Kum Naheen’, etc.

Burman was the favorite music composer of Dev Anand, Nasir Hussain, and even Gulzar. It was Gulzar who allowed him to score for his films like “Parichay,' ‘Aandhi,' ‘Kinara, ‘Ijaazat,' ‘Khushboo’ and’ Namkeen.' Gulzar and R D Burman also worked together as lyric writer-composer for other films like ‘ Ghar’,’Masoom’, ‘Libaas’ ‘ Golmaal’ etc. which are truly classical.

Burman married Rita Patel in 1966 and got divorced in 1971. Later, he married singer Asha Bhosle in 1980 and remained happy together. His last journey in music was through films like ‘ Agar Tum Na Hote’, ‘1942-A Love Story’ ‘Betaab’, ‘ Saagar’ etc. The music composer passed away on January 4, 1994, leaving a void in the film industry.


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