In the absence of regular classical music concerts and the peoples’ declining love of the classical music, I’ll refer to Hindi film songs as the popular form of music.
Some sings have stood the test of time. Even though composed in 50s & 60s they are a pleasure to listen to. What are the qualities that distinguish from the ‘happening’ songs of today? One is the poetry; two, the simplicity of the tune; and three, the singer is given importance rather than the ‘inorganic’ electronic instruments. These days, a variety of sounds can be manipulated with the help of these instruments. Besides, the recording technology of ‘cut & paste’ music, the great original talent of the composer and the music arranger is no longer that important.
The sad reality is that the modernity of the instruments, the advancement of recording technology and the concept of ‘hat ke’ (being different) in the field of films are all responsible for the decadence in the modern era. This seems so far removed from the golden era of unforgettable ‘film songs’.