You're browsing: Home / Meri awaaz suno / Analyzing the Greatness of Mohd. Rafi

Analyzing the Greatness of Mohd. Rafi

By Rajiv Sachdeva

Mohammed Rafi, greatest singer of all times

A lot has already been said and written about the greatness of Mohd. Rafi. Some say his greatness lay in his wonderful voice and ability to emote, some say it was his huge musical range and diversity and many others say it was his ability to adapt to the situation and actor on the screen. And this could go on and on.

According to me, Rafi had two unique and rare talents which make him stand apart.

  1. Unlike other singers who sing a song line by line, his musical prowess was so high that he would sing every song word by word. This emphasis on words can be felt in songs such as “Deewana Hua Badal” which gives a pleasant floating feeling and “Dil Ne Phir Yaad Kiya” which has a heart-wrenching effect. This quality transformed even the most difficult and complex tunes into memorable melodies. “O Duniya Ke Rakhwale” and “Jungle Mein Mor Nacha” are just two examples.
    Sahir once said that Rafi not only sings the words but even enacts them. Many stars of that era, who were not particularly good actors, hugely benefited from this. Thanks to Rafi, Joy Mukherjee’s performances in ‘Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon‘ and ‘Love in Tokyo‘ were significantly enhanced and well appreciated. Similarly, Dharmendra’s screen presence received a tremendous boost through songs such as “Main Nigahen Tere Chehre Se” and “Aap ke Haseen Rukh Pe“.

  1. Rafi’s voice would automatically modulate with feelings and emotions in sync with the meaning of the word. For example, if he sings the word “Bahaar“, a cheerful tone emanates and if he sings “Mohabbat“, a romantic touch is perceptible. Auto-modulation of the voice is not something which can be learnt. It is a very rare gift. I doubt whether Rafi ever made an effort to acquire this talent. It just happened to be there. But he was aware of it. Whenever people praised him for his singing, he would simply point his finger towards the heavens.
    Auto-modulation is probably the reason that Rafi’s version of songs, sung both by him and Lata, often became more popular (e.g. “Mere Mehboob“, “Ehsaan Tera Hoga” and many more).
    There are not many singers who are blessed with this gift. I only know of a few; Elvis Presley, Elton John and Toto (Italian). Our own Asha Bhonsle also has this talent but unfortunately only in the lower ranges. At high notes, the effect disappears. O.P. Nayyar was well aware of this. You can decipher it in the subtle allocation of notes in the Rafi-Asha duets. This could also have been the reason that Asha Bhonsle was more comfortable singing with Kishore Kumar.
    Among the new generation, Shreya Ghoshal seems to be endowed with auto-modulation. Therefore, some of her renditions of old songs often sound better than the originals.

A friend recently told me that, with the rapid progress in the fields of AI (Artificial Intelligence) and AA (Advance Analytics), it would be possible in a few years to artificially create perfect songs with ideal lyrics, music, voice and singing. I shook my head in disbelief at the ignorance of expectations because no extent of technological innovations can ever recreate the effect and impact of songs such as “Man Re Tu Kahe Na“, “Tu Mere Samne Hai” and “Chaudhvin Ka Chand Ho“.

Proclaim your love for Rafi Sahab on twitter

Post your Comment on this Blog

If your comments hit the moderation queue, comments will be moderated within 7 days.

3 Blog Comments to “Analyzing the Greatness of Mohd. Rafi”

  1. N.G.Ramaswamy says:

    Rajivji, aap ne “SACH” kaha. Hats off to your surname “SACHDEV”. Only a true Rafi Saheb Bhakth can write such bold articles. Keep writing. Truly informative.

  2. Tu Kahin Ass Pass hai Dost – Golden Voice of the Silver Screen #MohdRafi

  3. Susanne says:

    Very interesting and insightful! I have been a huge Rafi fan myself and this article has helped me understand what it is about his singing that is so magical and touching!

Post your Comment on Facebook

Receive updates in your inbox. Enter your email address:

Other Writeups

Social Collaboration