Legendary musician Ravi Shankar passed away the day before yesterday. His music and mark on the music world however is transcendental and lives on. In the words of George Harrison, Shankar’s close friend, “all things must pass”. That being said, life and music definitely flows on within you and without you. So let’s pay tribute to this inspirational musician.
Born in North India, Ravi Shankar learned how to play various Indian instruments at an early age, including the Sitar for which he is most well known, in Europe while part of his brother’s dance group. He was taught Indian classical music by Allauddin Khan, one of the most revered teachers at the time in this musical tradition, after Khan’s collaboration with Shankar and his brother’s group.
With Khan, Shankar underwent rigorous musical training and learned how to play ragas, one of the “melodic modes” of Indian classical music, which literally means “color, hue”.
Many were inspired by the transcendental sounds of the Sitar which Shankar in effect “brought to the West” by his concerts and albums. The fusion sounds created by Western musicians who were inspired by the Indian melody and instruments became known as the Raga Rock Trend. The most notable musician who became a masterful Sitar player himself was George Harrison.
His friendship and musical association with Harrison extended the outreach and interest of Indian classical music, bringing it to a new level when hit songs by The Beatles that incorporated these sounds were released.
His legacy lives on in the contributions he’s made to the music world in form of his compositions and concert style as well as in the people and music he’s touched.
“Pop changes week to week, month to month. But great music is like literature.”
Information for this article was taken from Wikipedia.