|National Film Award for Best Music Direction|
|National award for contributions to Indian Cinema|
|Awarded for||Best Music Direction and background score for a feature film of the year|
|Sponsored by||Directorate of Film Festivals|
|First awarded||1967 (Songs)|
1994 (Background Score)
|Most recent winner||Thaman S (Songs) |
G. V. Prakash Kumar (Background Score)
|Total awarded||53 (Songs)|
10 (Background Score)
|First winner||K. V. Mahadevan|
|Most number of wins||A. R. Rahman (6 wins)|
The National Film Award for Best Music Direction (the Silver Lotus Award) is an honour presented annually at the National Film Awards by the Directorate of Film Festivals to a musician who has composed the best score for films produced within the Indian film industry. The award was first introduced at the 15th National Film Awards in 1967. At the 42nd National Film Awards, an award for "Best Background Score" was instituted. It was however discontinued after that, and it was not until 2009 that the category was re-introduced. A total of 51 awards—including award for Best Background score—to 40 different composers.
Although the Indian film industry produces films in around 20 languages and dialects, the recipients of the award include those who have worked in seven major languages: Hindi (19 awards), Tamil (10 awards), Malayalam (9 awards), Telugu (8 awards), Bengali (7 awards), Kannada (5 awards) and Marathi (2 awards).
The first recipient of the award was K. V. Mahadevan who was honoured for his composition in the Tamil film Kandan Karunai (1967). A. R. Rahman is the most frequent winner having won 6 awards. Ilaiyaraaja has won it 5 times. Jaidev and Vishal Bhardwaj have won it three times each. Four musicians—B. V. Karanth, K.V. Mahadevan, Satyajit Ray and Johnson have won the award twice each. Ilaiyaraaja is the only composer to have won the award for achieving in three different languages — Telugu, Tamil and Malayalam. While A. R. Rahman won the award for performing in two different languages — Tamil and Hindi (including one for his debut film) Roja (1992).[a]
Johnson won the inaugural "Best Background Score" award—for Sukrutham—in 1994. When the award was reinstated in 2009, Ilaiyaraaja won it for the Malayalam film Pazhassi Raja. The most recent recipients are Thaman S for Best Songs for his work in the Telugu film Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo and G. V. Prakash Kumar for Background Score for his work in the Tamil film Soorarai Pottru.
|Indicates winner for Best Background Score|
|List of award recipients, showing the year (award ceremony), film(s), language(s) and citation|
|K. V. Mahadevan||Kandan Karunai||Tamil||–|||
|–||S. Mohinder||Nanak Nam Jahaz Hai||Punjabi||–|||
|–||Jaidev||Reshma Aur Shera||Hindi||–|
|Sachin Dev Burman||Zindagi Zindagi||Hindi||–|||
|Satyajit Ray||Ashani Sanket||Bengali||–|||
|Bhupen Hazarika||Chameli Memsaab||Assamese||–|||
|–||B. V. Karanth||Rishya Shringa||Kannada||–|||
|–||B. V. Karanth||Ghatashraddha||Kannada||
For employing the resources of sacred and folk music with unerring skill and sensitivity so as to create an atmosphere of subdued pain and loneliness and to lead the poignant theme to its tragic denouement through the tortured process of its unfolding; for the modulation of effects in terms of sound, covering music in all its variegated range within their span, for heightening the mood in each sequence, almost imperceptibly; for creating art at its concealed best.
For using the traditional light classical and folk music of U.P. to convey the nostalgia of rural migrants lost in a city. Music in Gaman is an integral part of the film.
|–||K. V. Mahadevan||Sankarabharanam||Telugu||–|||
|Satyajit Ray||Hirak Rajar Deshe||Bengali||
For brilliant experimentation with different forms and modes of Indian music and for creating a mood of fantasy in a pleasing and harmonious style.
For a finely turned score which invokes the spirit of the period and for a felicitous use of music to enrich the central character of the film.
For his use of classical music to enhance the aesthetic quality of the film.
For his lively, rich and vigorous recreation of traditional music composition and inventive musical ideas adapted to the visual demands of drama.
For innovative blending of folk and classical music which lends strength and power to the story.
For the effective use of classical music blended with folk music.
For creating a thematic score on a heroic scale through melody and complex harmonic arrangements of a symphonic character to stress the human anguish during the holocaust that followed partition, helping greatly in defining the tragic dimensions of the events.
For creating an innovative score which brings out the splendour of classical tradition and blends it beautifully with modern sensitibilities.
For depicting life in interior Assam with a unique background score.
For using traditional tunes and instruments creatively, with litting melody and haunting perfection.
For using music as an integral part of the film structure, furthering the meaning and dimensions of the theme.
|A. R. Rahman||Roja[a]||Tamil||
For the harmonious blend of western and Carnatic classical music in Roja, the separate music systems complementing each other without losing their own identities.
For his music, which exhibits imagination, competence and presentation of the changing contours of music from traditional to modern styles.
(As Bombay Ravi)
| • Sukrutham
For his melodious rendering of his tunes. The music in both the films exhibit originality and creatively highlights the entire mood of the two films, achieving musical harmony.
For scoring the background music.
|Hamsalekha||Sangeetha Sagara Ganayogi Panchakshara Gavai||Kannada||
For his authentic utilisation of classical Indian music in both the Hindustani and Karnatic style and presenting a wholesome musical structure to the film.
|A. R. Rahman||Minsara Kanavu||Tamil||
For innovative compositions breaking all traditions, entering into new era.
|M. M. Keeravani||Annamayya||Telugu||
For the film's rich, classical music scores and its devotional fervor.
For the Hindi film Godmother where the narrative of the film and the music bring about an excellent blend of folk and modern music. It retains the fragrance of the soil of Gujarat.
|Ismail Darbar||Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam||Hindi||
For an innovative score that blends in the entire spectrum of Indian music form Classical to folk to embellish the musical narrative.
For a score that blends with the story and heightens its narrative. A great effort has been made to ensure that the compositions have all the ingredients of the music of the soul.
|A. R. Rahman||Lagaan||Hindi||
For a music score, that is both regional in character and popular in appeal bringing out the ethos of Saurashtra region.
|A. R. Rahman||Kannathil Muthamittal||Tamil||
For his original musical score highlighting the cultural conflicts and personal anguish in the story.
|Shankar–Ehsaan–Loy||Kal Ho Naa Ho||Hindi||
For its wide range of styles and modes, enriching the themes of the film.
For the songs that are composed as per the situation and enrich the theme of the film. From the beginning to the end he has maintained traditional classical music and used Indian acoustic instruments thus bringing out the colour and flavour of Indian music.
For bringing alive an era of great musical and dance tradition through the deft use of Indian musical instruments.
For a judicious range of music from the classical to pop, elevating the film.
For achieving through music the poignancy of the turmoil of unconventional love.
For its well-researched use of traditional and folk music to reinforce the theme of the film.
For the innovative composition that blend contemporary and folk sounds.
For creating epic grandeur by fusing symphonic orchestration with traditional Indian.
For blending rustic flavour with the Indian classical tradition.
|–||Isaac Thomas Kottukapally||Adaminte Makan Abu||Malayalam|
For minimalistic use of appropriate background score to nurture the essence of the narrative.
|Neel Dutt||Ranjana Ami Ar Ashbona||Bengali||
For displaying a variety of contemporary musical forms that rock the city of Kolkata today. He virtually drives the narrative flow composing a variety of songs to portray the world of an ageing rock music performer who suffers from a deep feeling of inadequacy. The songs deal with the emotional and social challenges that beset the film's protagonists.
For his original style in narrating the flow of events centred around a laptop. He brings in a new dimension with his unconventional musical renderings, using both live and electronic instruments to counterpoint the urban tragedies that accompany this peripatetic laptop. The music brings in a narrative element that resonates with contemporary problems in Kolkata, a city weighed down by its own contradictions.
Versatile and soulful presentation of songs based on Raagas, backed by Indian instrumentation arranged in a manner that enhances the film.
Fusion of native ensemble and percussions in a period setting is a challenge well-met by the background score.
The music director has presented a rich variety of musical genres of Bengal with appropriate voices, instruments and orchestration..
|Shantanu Moitra||Naa Bangaaru Talli||Telugu|
The music composer has kept a balance of music programming and regional acoustic instruments like Saraswati Veena, Mridangam, Ghatam, Morsing and voices to underline the theme of the film.
For developing the conflict of the inner and outer landscape through haunting music.
For maintaining the tempo of the film with an in-sync background score.
|M. Jayachandran||Ennu Ninte Moideen||Malayalam||
Creating a haunting melodic composition, that resonates the tragic love story
For effectively using folk musical instruments and melodies, to give a harmonic layer of meaning to the world of the characters.
For adding soul to the film through Carnatic ragas.
|A. R. Rahman||Kaatru Veliyidai||Tamil||–|||
|Sanjay Leela Bhansali||Padmaavat||Hindi||
All the songs lift the mood of the film and give a different dimension to the narrative.
|Shashwat Sachdev||Uri: The Surgical Strike||Hindi|
For providing the right atmosphere for the film.
For compiling the rendition of the voice with musical instruments to create a pleasing atmosphere in the film.
For the subtle scoring of background music which elevates the performances and the story-telling.
|Thaman S||Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo||Telugu||
For the foot tapping songs of the film which reached the nook and corner.
|G. V. Prakash Kumar||Soorarai Pottru||Tamil|
For the unique background score of the film which adds to the emotional and mood of the film.