Google celebrates Sitar maestro Ravi Shankar's 96th birthday with an artistic doodle

New Delhi: Google is celebrating 96th birthday of the Sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar with an artistic doodle.

Pandit Ravi Shankar was born on 7 April 1920 to a Bengali family in Benares, British India. He spent his youth touring India and Europe with the dance group of his brother Uday Shankar. However, he gave up dancing in 1938 to study sitar playing under court musician Allauddin Khan. 

After finishing his studies in 1944, Pt. Ravi Shankar worked as a composer, creating the music for the Apu Trilogy by Satyajit Ray and was the music director of All India Radio, New Delhi, from 1949 to 1956.

"Shankar evangelized the use of Indian instruments in Western music, introducing the atmospheric hum of the sitar to audiences worldwide. He performed frequently with the violinist Yehudi Menuhin, and composed a concerto with sitar for the London Symphony Orchestra," Google wrote.

"Shankar also taught George Harrison of the Beatles how to play the sitar, and widely influenced popular music in the 1960s and 70s."

"Shankar's music popularized the fundamentals of Indian music, including raga, a melodic form. The distinctive character of Shankar's compositions attracted the attention of composer Philip Glass, with whom Shankar wrote the 1990 album Passages," it added.

Created by artist Kevin Laughlin, today's doodle shows the style of sitar Shankar played, which includes a second gourd-shape resonator at the top of the instrument's neck.

News24 Bureau