INDIAN MUSIC FORUM ARCHIVES: Sitar Forum: Interesting

 

Author Message
Neal
Interesting May 19, 2003 10:44 a.m.


Most of you probably know this, but I thot it interesting. It was taken from the sleeve notes of Ravi's Album THE TEACHER

Ravi Shankar has been described in many ways. He has been hailed as a mediator between a traditional musical form and modernity, a master melodist who bridged continents and cultures, a lightning rod and a pioneer. He is the man who introduced the sitar, directly or indirectly � and, in the process, Indian music � to a world beyond the Indian subcontinent. He did not necessarily do it all alone but he spearheaded the movement as far as millions of people were concerned. Even his tabla accompanists such as Chatur Lal, Alla Rakha or Kanai Dutt energised people�s imaginations with their wondrous rhythmical cycles, intellectual muscularity and proof that life existed beyond the bar length. Ravi Shankar changed lives either directly or through the work of the Byrds, the Beatles, Traffic, the Incredible String Band, Yehudi Menuhin, Philip Glass and Mickey Hart.

In the early sixteenth century C.E. Mughal warriors began building a new empire in the subcontinent. These invaders not only breached the subcontinent�s ancient Hindu integrity but also broached a whole new julabmost (sherbet) barrel. They brought Islam, Arabic and Persian, and a system of modal music similar to the subcontinent�s improvised raga form but outlandishly different too. They brought strange foreign food like apricots, pistachios, walnuts and almonds but discovered delights like jackfruit, snake and bitter gourds and mangosteen. The passage of the years and the arrival of more tolerant, more culturally curious Mughal rulers created a new hybrid culture in the conquered regions of Northern India. The cultivators of this particular orchard grafted Islamic and Persian principles onto a Hindu and Sanskrit rootstock.

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