Music is trendy in every Indian household. The cinema industry and music have been thick friends ever since they were introduced, and we all drool and hymn the Indian film music enormously. Behind the great melodies are the Indian music directors, who are known for their legacy, contribution, and talent in creating such treat to our ears.

While the Indian movie industry has only been vast and diverse, we equally have diverse music directors catering to different themes and languages. Today, we will cover the best Indian music director the country has ever witnessed to date with you.

Top 15 Best Music Composers in India:

The Indian subcontinent has always been a land of talents. Extremely talented and creative musicians, music directors have been working in the cinema industry fora very long. While it is challenging to round off specific talents as the top and best Indian film music director, we go with the most favorites list in the audience.

1. Keeravani:

The Recent Oscar Winner M.M.Keeravani is another popular contemporary musician name, mostly working in movies from Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, and Hindi film industry. Born in Andhra Pradesh, most works revolve around the Telugu film industry and is famous for the works from the last three decades. His famous music works include,

  • KshanaKshanam (1991)
  • AllariPriyudu (1993)
  • Chatrapathi (2005)
  • Magadheera (2009)
  • Bahubali (2015)
  • RRR(2022)

2. A R Rahman:

The legendary director and composer, A R Rahman, has to be on everyone’s list. He is a popular household favorite for several Indians and is known to carry a separate fan base among music lovers. His music is a perfect blend and balance of classical hymns and melodies with contemporary tunes. Rahman is also known internationally for his musical career and has won several applauds and awards, including Grammy, Academy Awards, and BAFTA. One can never forget this legend for years to come in the Indian music industry. He is known as India’s best music composer. His notable contributions and musical works include,

  • Roja movie 1992
  • Guru movie 2007
  • Lagaan movie 2001
  • Slumdog Millionnaire 2008
  • Bombay movie 1995

3. R.D. Burman:

If you watched or fond of the music and movies from the 1970s-90s, you would know the legend R D Burman. His tunes and melodies are most loved after decades and years, before and after the century. He has a contemporary and classical stamp on his musical notes, with Latin, Oriental, and Arabic stamps too. Burman is viewed as one of the most popular Bollywood music directors till date. We can never forget this musical composer and director while listening to old Bollywood classics! His most favorite works include,

  • Amar Prem (1971)
  • Sholay (1975)
  • Hare Rama Hare Krishna (1971)
  • A love Story (1994)
  • YaadonkiBaarat (1973)

4. Ilayaraja:

Also known as Maestro Ilayaraja, he is also a guru for A R Rahman. He was a musical director and composer for over 1000 films to date and is a renowned classical, traditional musician. As years passed by, Ilayaraja has also experimented and introduced Indian folk, guitar, and other forms into his music, just like magic. The charm and melody associated with his music can never be competed with and will remain as classics and most loved albums for years and generations to come. His most memorable works are

  • Thalapathi (1991)
  • Rudraveena (1989)
  • SagaraSangamam (1984)
  • Bhairavi (1986)
  • Nayagan (1987)

5. M S Viswanathan:

MS Viswanathan hails from Tamil Nadu state in South India and is among the giant in Tamil music’s entire history. His story is truly inspiring and is an example for a person who came from rags to riches. From working as a hawker at a very young age to rising into top music talents India has ever seen, his works will always be remembered. Though his directorial music albums were around the 1970s and 80s, many viewed that his songs were ahead of time. This Tamil music directors’ melodies were a fresh blend of orchestra, traditional hymns, and fresher style. Most famous works from the director include:

  • RaasathiKalyanam (1980)
  • AboorvaRagangal (1975)
  • MuthanaMuthallavo (1976)

See More: Top Film Directors In India

6. O P Nayyar:

Most of you may not have heard about this old Bollywood music director, O P Nayyar. But his songs in the movies in the 1950s and 60s are among the classical we still hear. He is known for his timeless musical melodies, tunes, orchestration, and the perfect partnerships with Asha Bosale and Geet Dutt. Nayyar is again in the top of hindi music directors list. Some of his notable works include:

  • MR and Mrs’ 55 (1955)
  • Naya Daur (1957)
  • CID (1956)
  • Kashmir Ki Kali (1964)

7. C Ramchandra:

C Ramchandra is among the beginners who made the Indian music industry a global icon. Although he has started his journey as an actor, his several duets and songs are well-known. His signature music style used to be a blend of guitar, trumpet, and harmonica. His songs with Lata Mangeshkar were the most popular ones to date. The notable works from C Ramchandran include:

  • Anarkali (1953)
  • Navrang (1959)
  • Albela (1951)
  • Aasha (1957)
  • Khazana (1951)

8. K V Mahadevan:

K V Mahadevan songs are still quite popular in several Telugu and Tamil households. His work ranged over four of the south Indian languages and for over 50 years. His music is perfection with melodious, beautifully lyrical, and lovely songs. His collaboration and musical partnership in the movies with the director K Viswanath are the most popular in his trajectory. The most lovable works from K V Mahadevan include:

  • Swathi Kiranam (1992)
  • Adimai Penn (1969)
  • Sankarabharam (1979)
  • Sirivennala (1986)
  • MoogaManasulu (1964)

9. Vijayabhaskar:

Known for his work in the south Indian music industry, Vijayabhaskar is among the prominent music directors and composer for several movies ranging in Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, and Konkani Tulu, Marathi, and Kannada movies. His most famous works were from the Kannada cinema. His works are said to be the reinvention of music in the Kannada movie industry. The signature works from Vijaybhaskar include:

  • Belli Moda (1967)
  • GejjePooje (1969)
  • Malaya Marutha (1986)
  • SanthaThukaram (1963)
  • Thoogudeepa (1966)

10. Naushad Ali:

Naushad’s musical songs were like a gem for the Bollywood movie industry. His proper adaption and instrumentation of classical Indian music stood out from the mainstream songs and music in Bollywood cinema at that time. His songs were also among the first to experiment with mixing sitar, mandolin, flute, and clarinet, all together. His most famous works include:

  • Pakeezah (1971)
  • Mother India (1957)
  • Mughal E Azam (1960)
  • Ganga Jamuna (1961)
  • BaijuBawra (1952)

See More: Best Indian Singers List

11. Nadeem – Shravan:

The partnership duo, Nadeem and Shravan’s famous musical hits and melodies are among the best selling ones to date. The good old 90s songs have been among the greatest and trending Bollywood tracks for a long. Although their career did not stay for very long, the signature movies and songs they both composed in a short period of time are long-living and timeless. Their notable works include:

  • Saajan (1991)
  • Raja Hindustani (1996)
  • Pardes (1997)
  • Aashiqui (1990)
  • Dhadkan (2000)

12. Anand – Milind:

Anand and Milind are other famous musicians and composer duos who reached their career heights in the 2000s. They are known for the unique melody and charm in their composing, and the songs were a blend of rhythm and humor, and style. Their notable works include:

  • Qayamat se Qayamat tak (1988)
  • Rebel for Love (1990)
  • Dil (1990)
  • Beta (1992)
  • Anari (1993)

13. Jatin – Lalit:

If you love the good old romantic movies from the Shah Rukh Khan times, then the musician and magician behind the perfect songs and lyrics are Jatin and Lalit. Known for his romantic and melodious songs, Jatin and Lalit are to date among the trending filmy music director the new millennials love. We all know their favorite and famous works:

  • KabhieKushiKabhieGham (2001)
  • Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (1995)
  • Mohabbatein (2000)
  • Jo JeetaWahi Sikandar (1991)
  • Fanaa (2006)

14. Shankar Ehsaan Loy:

We all know this contemporary and timeless music director, Shankar Ehsaan Loy. They both combine perfect Hindustani and Vocal music with western fusion and pop. The versatile and timeless music compositions with uniqueness in their work are what set them apart. They have a perfect Indian vibe and tune, with an international tone and global hues to the music. Known for composing music in several languages such as Hindi, English, Telugu, Tamil, and Marathi, they are the most trending ones. Their famous works include:

  • Rock On (2008)
  • Zindagi Na MilegiDubara (2011)
  • DilChahta Hai (2001)
  • Kal ho Na Ho (2003)
  • TaareZameen Par (2007)

15. Madan Mohan:

Another old school yet immense modern vibed composer for Bollywood movies is Madan Mohan. The legendary musical compositions by Madan Mohan, when added with tunes of Lata Mangeshkar, always stood out. He is known for his classical instruments and traditional Indian music with ghazal tunes. The known works by Madan Mohan include:

  • Wo Kaun Thi (1964)
  • Veer Zaara (2004)
  • Aankhein (1950)
  • DekhKabira Roya (1957)

The Indian music industry is blessed with world-renowned and talented composers. These top and all-time timeless Indian music directors are surely remembered for their tremendous and melodious magical works for years and generations to come. Who is your favorite music director and composer? We love to hear your thoughts too!


About Sandeep

With a decade of experience as a content creator at Stylesatlife, sandeep brings a wealth of expertise to lifestyle writing. His articles, on fashion, beauty, wellness, and travel, reflect a passion for delivering engaging and informative content. Sandeep unique blend of creativity and meticulous research establishes him as a trusted voice in the dynamic world of lifestyle journalism.