In this age of hi-tech music, gramophones and records have become artifacts of the past. Once considered as a status symbol of the privileged and the earnest music enthusiasts, gramophones for decades had remained an inevitable item in the literati and society circles. Old timers still recall the nostalgia of the gold- plated gramophone players with their pointed pins, and the revolving records inching toward the next track after a delightful music session.
Introduced by the British into India, they became popular when the HMV company decided to cash in on the immense popularity of this new medium, and began to manufacture records of Indian classical and film music giants like Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, Saigal, Noor Jehan and other singers. Thus, began a new chapter in the history of Indian music. Truly, music became the identity of Free India that finally found its voice in this melodious medium to communicate to the world, that finally and public life with optimism.
Gramophones fading into memory
However, the emergence of cheap cassettes in the 1980’s put a sudden break on the sales of gramophones. The hustle and bustle of the MTV culture in the 90’s was the last blow – since then, gramophone records had remained in a state of complete abandonment and rejection. While some reclusive old lovers of that time occasionally dust off their once priceless possessions, and occasionally listen to their favourite film songs, they were destined to. The young generation, with their ears plugged to latest gadgets view the gramophones with disdain. With no more records in production, and lack of spare parts available, gramophones are destined to fadeout of our memory soon!
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