An Appeal / अपील
This database is based on the Hindi Film Geet Kosh (Encyclopaedia of Hindi Film Songs) series (1931-1985), published by the compiler Har Mandir Singh ‘Hamraaz’ (Kanpur, India). Right from the first announcement in June 1972, he has imagined it as a community project. In every single book, he has acknowledged the help and kindness of hundreds of like-minded people, both working in the film industry and outside, without whom this compilation could not have been made possible.
In spite of the best efforts of ‘Hamraaz’ and his benefactors, there are still too many gaps in our knowledge, specially in the period 1931-1950. We urge all the lovers of Hindi films and music to help fill in the gaps before this part of our culture is irretrievably lost. Please help us in this community project to the benefit of all.
During our conversations with friends, we have been asked many questions about this project. We hope, the following answers are useful to all. If you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to Contact the Site Master.
What about the availability of printed old versions of Geet Kosh ?
All the 6 volumes, covering the period 1931 to 1985, are and will be made available all the time as usual. Barring Volume III (1951-60), which is available in original, remaining volumes are being made available through digital printing. Please Contact the Site Master for further queries about it.
What about the printed new versions based on additional information ?
Presently, revised and updated data is being made ready to put on the web. When this exercise is over, revised Hindi and English editions of all volumes would be made available one by one in the standard Geet Kosh format. There may be a delay as formatting of the data is a time consuming exercise.
Who is behind this project?
The community is being led by the Har Mandir Singh 'Hamraaz' (Compiler/India) and Dr Surjit Singh (Presenter/USA). Please look at the list of people who have helped the compiler from the 70s till now, Indebtedness.
Is it the first attempt made by you for creating a database from the Geet Kosh printed volumes ?
Several attempts were made in the past to complete this dream project. It is a long story of about 3 decades. Should you feel interested, you may click here Project History to read the story, which is unfortunately filled with lot of bitter experiences.
Who is paying for the project?
Purely, personal funds are being utilized for the creation and maintenance of the project and its website, with one notable exception. Mr Narsingh D Agnish (Canada/USA) was so happy on seeing the Geet Kosh volumes, particularly that of his favorite period of 1961 to 70, that he awarded 'Hamraaz' with $6,000 with a simple and humble request to come out with its revised edition whenever it is possible. That time has come now!
How soon will the project be completed?
It is an ever-growing project with new information to be added when it becomes available. There is no planned end to it. However, the base project of entering revised and expanded Geet Kosh data has been going on for a few years and is expected take a year or two.
Which volumes will be put in the database ?
All six of them (1931-1985). Data entry and checking is a huge undertaking. Right now it is being done by a small pool of volunteers. We plan to put up Volume III (1951-60) first. Others will follow as they become ready, perhaps in the order, V, IV, II, I and VI.
May I help in database entry and checking or software?
We welcome volunteers to help us in this community project. Please Contact the Site Master.
Who can submit corrections/additions/extra information?
Any user of the website can submit comments, corrections, new info etc. by using this form [Contact the Site Master]. Please no guess work or memory based information! After we evaluate the authenticity of information, we will inform the submitter about the outcome in a reasonable time. If it is included in the database, the submitter’s name and city will be added to the acknowledgment list. Unfortunately, we are unable to offer any monetary compensation.
What new information is being added to the database, besides the available printed volumes?
We have divided our dream list into two parts. The first one will be added before putting the database on the internet. Additions List A. We hope to include much more data eventually. Additions List B. We welcome the users to suggest additions to the list B.
Do you have movies or songs on this website?
No, we neither have them nor do we plan to in the future. We also do not plan to link to movies or songs on the internet. Please use your favorite search engine and look on the internet.
Why do you include coupling numbers and other information of 78 rpm gramophone records and other media?
There are many reasons. They are a part of our cultural history and so, we must preserve its details. Many people still like to listen to these records and collect them. Since a very small number of films from the early era is available, finding 78 rpm records is the only way to find authentic information about film songs. Same goes for other media to a lesser extent.
If certain films or songs are not available, why did you include information about them?
The original compilations were planned as volumes of complete Geet Kosh or Song Encyclopaedia of all certified Hindi films. We see no reason to change that Encyclopaedic vision.
How is your site different from already well-known websites?
Anybody who has looked for authentic information on relatively rare films knows that the internet is not a reliable source at all. It is full of fake audios, fake videos, sites that anybody can change without regard to names, dates, places etc.
Compilation of information relating to Hindi films and its songs was made because of the frustration of not finding any authentic information about films and their songs in the 70s. So, there was a need for a comprehensive Encyclopaedia of film songs. Publication of Geet Kosh volumes filled that need.
Now we have abundance of information on the internet but it is very misleading, again creating frustration in people who take accuracy seriously. This website fills that need.
Why should we trust this site and the provided information?
For those who do not know, it is worth mentioning that the Geet Kosh compiled by Har Mandir Singh ‘Hamraaz’ is considered the Gold Standard against which all other similar works are judged. His work is the standard reference for people writing books, articles and doctoral dissertations on Hindi films and songs. A small sampling can be seen here. Citations of 'Hamraaz' works
What are your sources of information?
The original books were based on the Censor information published by the Government in gazettes, film booklets, original records, record company catalogs, books and magazines available with private collectors and the National Film Archives of India, Pune. Now we have included additional information from available films. Absolutely, no information was included from any internet source whatsoever.
Like Geet Kosh volumes, why did you choose same format for presentation?
People who have been referring the Geet Kosh volumes since 1980 are familiar and comfortable with this format. We saw no reason to change that.
For the English version, why did you not choose the usual spelling for the film names, song titles etc.?
Short answer is for consistency in the English searches so that if you are looking for films with the phrase ‘Bhaarat’, you don’t want to get entries including ‘Bharat’.
I am able to basic searches, but it seems hard to do complex searches. I need help with that.
We have prepared a detailed tutorial about how to search our database. Usage Guide Please contact us if you have further questions. Also contact us if you need a truly complicated search, Contact the Site Master.
There are many actors and others with the same name. What have you done about that?
It is a difficult problem. We are working on it.
One often reads about many singers having sung 25,000 or more songs. Would I be able to judge statements like that?
To our knowledge no Hindi film singer has sung that many songs, even including their work in non-Hindi and non-Film domains. In fact, it was with the availability of the Geet Kosh volumes, it was found that Asha Bhosle had sung more songs than Lata Mangeshkar, and the sisters had outdone all the male singers!
With this database, you will be able to prepare detailed lists of your favorite singers, from 1931 to 1985 Hindi films. We may put up some statistics based on the database at a later time.
I have comments on the format and presentation of the database, what should I do?
Please Contact the Site Master.
I have additional question not answered here, what should I do?
Please Contact the Site Master.