With its roots in Indian films of the 1950s and '60s, Indian film music is the sound of playback singers (something akin to voiceover artists) reinforcing pivotal scenes -- and revealing hidden emotions and future plot developments. The tradition is based in classical and folk performance wherein theater, dance and song coexist seamlessly. Revered singers such as Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar have recorded hundreds of songs a year, providing the soundtrack not just for movies but for Indian life itself. The music is a hybrid of Westernized melodies, orchestral accompaniments, and high-pitched, nasal female singers trading lyrics with slick male vocalists. Some would argue that India's film music saw its heyday in the 1950s, when a handful of talented composers flooded the country with beautifully written songs. Today, as Bombay-based Bollywood continues to balloon, composers and singers create music under intense time pressure, creating a flurry of pop tunes that come and go within a matter of weeks. Film music is a vital part of daily life in India and a powerful vehicle for cultural expression. Composers such as A.R. Rahman are bringing the form into the future with innovative combinations of flamenco, folk, rock, Indian classical and electronic music.