Dhol, disco and dhikchik

You can jive at a Bandra wedding into the wee hours, you can move in circles to Uttarakhand’s folk music, you can even sit poised by Carnatic instrumentalists at a Tamilian wedding, but you can’t possibly avoid whatever it was that Papa said to Amir Khan.

The song’s eternal popularity is amazing considering that it is entirely unrelated to the subject of marriage. Nevertheless, since the year 1988, baraatis have been dancing merrily to this college song about a teenager’s unpredictable future, and this brings us to the subject of wedding soundtracks – a very important mood-setter for any wedding.

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The evolution of music at Indian weddings has been a slow process. A long time ago every village had its own local instruments, couplets and songs to dance to. With the British came brass bands and then with Bollywood came ‘Papa kehte hain’ and finally, with the turn of the century arrived Emotional Atyachaar.

The point is that Bollywood hits bring to life most wedding party dance floors around India. But the coming-of-age of the Indian Wedding is bringing a different kind of change. People are thinking up ever more creatively themed weddings – from save-the-dates to reception dances – everything is one big bespoke masterpiece.

Music is no exception. Choreographed Bollywood song sequences have been around for a while, but now you also have local and international artists performing live and DJs creating entire sets as per the couple’s preferences.

Technology has obviously made it easier to share music, so now you can literally pre-programme the whole soundtrack for your wedding. For instance, if you are planning a fusion wedding, an experienced DJ would easily be able to not only put together and spin your own individual recommendations, but also add to it to create a more enjoyable sound experience. Match that with the visuals and you have a wedding that is a sensory feast.

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