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In the 1980s the Indian popular music scene was revolutionized by the advent of audio cassettes that dramatically decentralized production and precipitated the rise of syncretic folk-pop hybrids aimed at diverse regional audiences. In the years around 2000, the new medium of the VCD, or video compact disc, came to exert a similarly prodigious impact, enabling inexpensive popular music recordings marketed to diverse audiences to have visual as well as audio components. Song picturizations came to display a variety of approaches, from low-budget Bollywood imitations to new formats evolving in response to local sensibilities. This article outlines some of these developments, looking in particular at VCD production in North India's Bhojpuri region as a representative case study.


This work was originally published in South Asian Popular Culture, available at

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