Rashid Attrey's Hit of the Sixties
Written by English NewsPaper/Dawn/Others   

Composer Rashid Attrey, who started his career from Calcutta in the year 1939, enriched the sub-continent film music by inventing enchanting tunes for a large number of movie songs, especially during the decade of the 1960s.

 He seemed Satisfied with the traditional forms and techniques to which he contributed much with the impress of his ' melodic personality. Like other Rubabi melodists, the Amritsar-bom (1919) composer "Rashid Attrey, also spent a better part of his life in Lahore, where he worked (first) for radio and (later) 'for films. For a brief period of time, he was associated with the Azad Kashmir Radio, when, it operated from Rawalpindi/Murree. Before migrating to Pakistan in 1947, he composed songs for a few films produced from Pune and Bombay. After scoring scores of hit songs for Pakistani   films,   he died on 4 December 18,1967, after his own production, the film Mauseeqar flopped; although almost all of its songs became uproariously popular.  

As it is common with all professional musicians, his father, Bhai Khushi Muhammad, too, initiated Rashid Attrey, in music. Later he became a pupil of Ustad Fayyaz Husain Khan of the Agra gharana of Kheyal's singers. Ustad Ghulam Haider Khan,  a contemporary musicologist, claims that Attrey also served a brief period of apprenticeship with the wizard of Bengali music, Rai Bahadhur R.C. floral, who is considered a pioneer in introducing Bengali folk melodies in Indian film music produced from Calcutta. By the decade of the 1960s, Rashid Attrey! (after a few initial setbacks) achieved the distinction of being one of the frontline composers of Pakistan. His contributions to the further refinement of film music were   widely   recognized   and appreciated. 

Earlier, he had rubbed shoulders with such legendary composers as Master Ghulam Haider arid Khurshid Anwar, who were impressed, by his sharp melodic acumen.

Before independence, Attrey ised songs for a few films in Pune, Lahore and Bombay none of which hit the bull's eye in terms of popularity. The song Do dil mohabbatoan kay mazzay, an Attrey composition for the film Kamra Number Nine, recorded in the voice of Amirbai Kamataki, still rings a bell with senior denizens.


That was in the year 1943. He came to Lahore to try his luck with the local film industry, when he scored music for two songs for the film Pagli, Sheereen Farhad in 1944. Once again he went back to .Bombay where he scored music-for the films Najeeja and Shikyat. After migrating to Pakistan m 1947, Attrey, like other musicians of those days, faced' hardships as a result of which he had to accept a low salary job of a composer for Radio Pakistan,. Rawalpindi/Azad Kashmir. A few months later, he was transferred to Radio Pakistan, -Lahore. His first film (Bailee) produced in Lahore in 1949, flopped at the box office but his second film Shehri Babu put his name back on the film map of the subcontinent.

However; lucked smiled at him only after the release of the film Saat Lakh, It was a thunderous success, as several songs of that movie- (particularly Yaaro Mujhe Maaf Rakho, sung by Saleem Raza, Aye Mausam Rangeele Soohanay recorded in the voice of Zubaida Khanum) and Qarar Lootnay Waley sung by Muneer Hussain became a rage among film' buffs.

A couple of his songs for W.Z. Ahmad's film, Wahda also earned countrywide popularity. Rashid Attrey had been groomed in the classical traditions of music, which manifested itself in several of his melodies composed in an archaic strand.

His songs for film Mauseeqar, which he also produced, bore eloquent testimony to his prowess in art music. His other successful movies included Neend, Anarkali, Zarqa, Sawaat and the one made on the lives of Mirza and Sahibaan. Other popular songs of Attrey were: Latt uljhi suljhaja re baalam; Arey oh bai murawwat; Koocha-e-qatil tak aa pohnchey, Nighaahain milakar, Tum jug Jug jeeyo, Gaye gee duniya geet merey and Baawari Chakori Karey Duniya se Chori, The melodic raiment he provided to Faiz's ghazal "Mujh Say Pehti See Mahabbat" recorded in the voice of NurJehan for the film Qaidi, Gaye Gee Duniya Geet Merey for the film, Maseeqar still retain their sonic enchantment.

 

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During his long career, Attrey did not evolve a single style of his own but went from one manner to another, following the dictates of the musical problems at hand at different periods of time.

A term of apprenticeship, which he served with composer R.C. Boral during his formative years, also helped him to assess the requirements and trends in filmdom. Consequently, his music often smacked of an exercise in melodic intellectual-' ism in which the form is dictated by the idea, in which emotion is curbed, and resources are continually and closely scrutinized and explained. Motivated by his quest for excellence and prompted by a burning desire to express freely, Attrey later on distinguished himself as a composer of much merit, winning kudos and recognition for his enchanting compositions, both from knowledgeable connoisseurs and the lay music buffs. He worked indefatigably for standardizing Pakistani film music.

Also, he devoted a lot of his time and energies to the cause of contemporary subcontinental classical music, whose interest remained, close to his heart. Rashid Attrey's most agreeable and effective music was created during the decade of the 1960s, when his creative fertility was at its peak. Unlike some composers, who pride themselves on being mass manufactures' of music in a soulless machine like manner,Attrey remained quite choosy in accepting 'offers-from producers.

Qualitatively, the compositions of the deceased musician were better with more enduring impact than those coming from his contemporary speed merchants.