A commemorative booklet included in THE ANTHOLOGY OF INDIAN MUSIC VOLUME ONE (World Pacific WDS-26200) has a brief closing remembrance by Dick Bock wherein he recalls his first meeting with Ravi Shankar. This recollection does not agree with Ravi Shankar’s own recollection published in RAGA MALA – an autobiography RAVI SHANKAR (Welcome Rain Publishers, 1997), and it is also at odds with Bock’s recollection in a recorded interview with Will Thornbury where he also recalls meeting Ravi Shankar at a concert at the SRF on Sunset Boulevard which led to their first recording session with Ravi Shankar that was taped at the Forum Theater on Pico Boulevard.
“The first time I heard Ravi Shankar was in the Fall of 1956 at a concert in Town Hall, in New York City.
I had flown in from Los Angeles on one of those pre-jet, 12-hour flyers. I had never heard Indian Music performed before and was unprepared for what I was listening to. After about 40 minutes, I slipped off to sleep. Not because I was bored by Ravi’s music but most likely because the nature of the music put me in such a relaxed mood, that I floated off to sleep.
This very quality has attracted many people to Indian Music. Even though Indian Music has its moments of great excitement, the most powerful aspect is its ability to put the listener in a relaxed mood and a calm state of mind. which carries the listener into an area of serenity.
I met Ravi for the first time immediately after that Town Hall concert. We promised to see each other in the Spring of 1957, at which time he would be coming to Los Angeles for concerts at USC and UCLA.
I found Ravi to be very open and immensely likable. I decided to give him a welcome party so I could introduce him to some people in Los Angeles.
At that party he indicated he wanted to record the UCLA concert so we worked out the details.
Most of my staff at World Pacific Records, including the distribution network, thought I was mad to think there would be an audience to buy Indian Music recordings in anything but limited quantities in the United States.
It took a few years for the interest to grow, and now ten years later, Ravi Shankar, and Indian Music, have reached out to re-orient all western popular music. Ravi Shankar has reached a level of popularity I never could have foreseen.”
© Dick Bock, EMI Capitol Music
Ravi Shankar’s KINNARA SCHOOL OF INDIAN MUSIC was located next door to the offices of World Pacific at 8718 West Third Street.
“Back to 1956. Upon completing the German tour in November, and before heading across the Atlantic, I returned briefly to London to play a couple more recitals and cut my first long-playing album in the West. Featuring the ragas Jog, Simhendra Madhyaman and AhirBhairav, EMI released the LP the following April under the title RaviShankar Plays Three Classical Ragas.
After my happy days spent in America in the Thirties, and the frustration of having missed out on the previous year’s invitation, it was with tremendous pleasure that I arrived in New York, for a tour presented by Beate Gordon and Ann Laughlin – two ladies from the Asia Society – and sponsored by John Rockefeller III. Isadora Bennett was the agent who had arranged the tour, which was mostly focused on campuses. In New York my first concert was for the Young Men’s Hebrew Association, at the large Kaufmann Auditorium. There weren’t as many Indians in New York then as there are today, but I established good friendships with a few (including Karuna Maitra, whose Riverside Drive apartment I stayed at, and Gopal Sanyal), and the show was a splendid triumph. We played in a few more places in the region, including Boston and Philadelphia, before heading out to California.
The Sunshine State appealed to me instantly. My principal home for most of the year at present, it is enormously attractive, mainly because of the weather and the scenic beauty. It is very inspiring: the ocean, the green hills, the mountains and the desert, all within about an hour’s drive. You can have the Riviera, you can have the Himalayas, you can have anything. It is a blessed area.
By phoning and talking to a few friends, in advance of my arrival on the West Coast I had arranged some concerts there myself. The first performance, in January 1957, was held at the Self-Realisation Fellowship (SRF) in Los Angeles, at their centre on Sunset Boulevard. They had a small hall in the basement, and about 200 people attended for a very enjoyable evening.
The SRF was established by Swami Paramahansa Yogananda, who wrote the famous book Autobiography of a Yogi, which I later gave to George Harrison, whose life it changed greatly. It is a most unusual and very well written book which gives an understanding of the spiritual side of India, penned by a man who had self-realisation and did so much to bring to the West an awareness of and respect for India’s great spiritual heritage.
India’s original spiritual pioneer in America was Swami Vivekananda, who established the Ramakrishna Missions. It was in a similar though less spectacular way that Swami Yogananda came to the West in 1920 and established his SRF centres, including three in Los Angeles and others in several locations around the States – one in what is now my home town of Encinitas, California. I was fortunate enough to meet him a couple of times in the States in the Thirties, although at my tender age I had not realised what he was worth. He had behaved so normally and simply that, apart from being impressed by his looks, I had thought him no different from the man next door. Later on, as my knowledge grew (and through knowing his family in Calcutta), my appreciation of him blossomed.
The Ramakrishna Missions and the SRF centres are very dear to my heart, Their low-key followers are not into selling the Hindu religion, uninterested in earning millions of dollars through exploiting the appeal of its yogas, mantras, tantras, kundalinis and chakras. It is a joy to visit the SRF centre at Encinitas, which is about three and a half miles from our house, situated on the shore of the Pacific Ocean in a serene and spiritual setting with beautifully landscaped grounds. All the monks (known as Brothers and Sisters) are radiant and sweet, and seem to be so much at peace. The Swami himself died in 1952, but his principal disciple, Shri Daya Mata, now aged eighty-three, succeeded him as the head of the organisation. Sukanya, Anoushka and I are very close to her. She is gracious and beautiful – love just flows out of her! She resides at the main SRF headquarters in Mount Washington, near Los Angeles. The present local head in Encinitas is Brother Mitrananda, a dear friend of ours who is learned, witty and down-to-earth.
At the Sunset Boulevard SRF in 1957 I met Richard Bock, a great connoisseur of jazz music who had recently formed an independent jazz record company called World Pacific. Dick was interested in recording me for his label, and he soon did. After the SRF I was off to San Francisco, where some further concerts had been arranged in two small auditoriums, before returning to the East Coast.
Back in New York again, it was time for some recording. Upon my arrival in the Big Apple a couple of months previously, my attention had been caught by a happy face with an honest smile, that of George Avakian, Director of the International Department at Columbia Records and another ardent jazz expert. We became great friends immediately. George’s family are Armenians who until recently had a huge wholesale oriental-rug business, and for years they supplied the carpet or rug for the podiums I sat upon in all my New York recitals. His wife, Anahid Ajemian, was a well-known concert violinist. Between March and May he recorded my three sessions at Columbia’s old 30th Street studio, yielding my first two LPs to be released in the States. Chatur Lal accompanied me, and I gave short spoken introductions to the ragas and talas we played.
Apart from these two releases with Columbia, for many years almost all the records I made in the USA were on Dick Bock’s World Pacific label. Right from the outset I had these two terrific friends in America, one on each coast.”
© 1997 The Estate of Ravi Shankar
Liner notes to the first Columbia album (WL 119) By Alan Hovhaness.
Indian music descended from the Vedas, the sacred chants of ancient India. Despite a long, complex evolution, it has retained much of its primeval purity. Descending from the ancient temples, later through the courts of princes, it has brought in its stream of inspiration forms and principles from the distant past. Unlike Western music, which has elaborated its secondary element, harmony, at the expense of the essentials of melody and rhythm, Indian music retains its roots in pure melody and rhythm, and the subtle and intricate interplay of these essentials is its essence.
Raga expresses melodic structure. Ragas are groups of notes forming ratios with their tonic notes. In their numerical ratios they correspond with moods, colors, seasons, and hours of day or night.
Ragas include basic scales, or Melas. There are 72 Melas. Ascending scales are Arohana, and descending scales are Avarohana. The various combinations of ascending and descending scales of 7, 6, and 5 notes give theoretically 64,848 Ragas.
Each Raga has its principal mood and color. The structure of the Raga must be kept intact but the performer has freedom to create his own version through skillful and imaginative improvisation.
Tala is the rhythm structure. The time unit or beat is called Matra. A Tala has a fixed number of Matras or beats with subdivisions. Talas may have as few as 3 or as many as 108 Matras. The most common Talas contain 16, 14, 12, 10, 7, or 6 Matras.
The first beat of the Tala is called the Sum. This is the most important beat, where differing rhythms or counter-rhythms meet, or return to the main rhythm structure or Tala. There are 360 Talas, although only about 30 are in general use at this time.
The form of the music begins with the Alap. This is a slow invocation in free rhythm, presenting the subtleties of the Raga in an expressive meditative style. The solo instrument improvises the Alap based on the tones of the Raga with the tamboura accompanying in a constant tonic drone. Later a more rhythmic style unfolds, called Jor, which goes through many variations—then follows the more rapid rhythmic style called Jhala, which fills out the rhythm with rapid repeated notes played by the plectrum. The depth of imagination and creative musicality of the performer and improviser is revealed in the Alap and Jor.
After the Jhala comes the second part which introduces the drums, the tabia, for the first time. This part is called the Gat. The Gat is based on the rhythm structure, called Tala. The Gat is played in slow, medium, and fast tempo. The main melody is introduced by the Sitar while the Tabla, or drums, sound the Tala or rhythm scheme. Against this rhythm, the Sitar improvises imaginative melodic patterns and introduces complex counter-rhythms. These rhythms, which go against the Tala or main rhythm, must resolve on the “one” of the first beats of the Tala, called the Sum. Later the Sitar may hold firm to the rhythm of the Tala while the Tabla may create complex counter-rhythms, making a rhythm war but resolving at last on a first beat or Sum of the Tala. The Gat often ends with a Jhala—brilliant climactic passages with rapid repeated notes filling out the rhythm.
ABOUT THE INSTRUMENTS ….
SITAR, The Sitar is a plucked stringed instrument with six main strings, movable frets, many side strings, and sympathetic strings. The main strings may also be pulled from side to side, creating added subtle pitch variations. The instrument is tuned before each piece to the Raga which is to be played. The main strings are plucked by a plectrum which is worn on the index finger of the right hand.
TABLA. This is a pair of hand drums, tuned to the main tones of the Raga. A virtuoso performer can draw a seemingly limitless variety of timbre and pitch from the Tabla.
TAMBOURA (also Tanpura). This is a 4- or 5-stringed instrument, plucked in the open-string position only. The strings are tuned to the main tones of the Raga, and provide a continuous drone accompaniment.
ABOUT THE MUSICIANS ….
RAVI SHANKAR was born in 1920 at Benares, India, He began his musical career as a child in the troupe of his justly famous brother, Uday Shankar, who first introduced the Indian dance to western audiences. His first visit to America was as a member of the Uday Shankar company in 1938. He developed as a virtuoso of the Sitar as a pupil of Ustad Allaudin Khan, India’s greatest living musician.
Today Ravi Shankar holds a unique position in Indian music, as a soloist, teacher, composer, and conductor of orchestral, film, and ballet music. Since 1949, he has been director of music for All-India Radio. In the past year, his film work has received international acclaim. At the Berlin Film Festival in June, 1957, Ravi Shankar was chosen best film music director of the year for his work in “Kabuliwala,” and at the Venice Film Festival two films for which he wrote the music (“Aparajita” and “Chairy Tale”) received four awards. Earlier, “Pather Panchali,” a Shankar film which will be seen in the United States shortly, won first prize at the International Film Festival at Cannes.
CHATUR LAL, one of India’s leading young Tabla players, has been under training with Ravi Shankar, as well as being his associate, for the past nine years. He is on the staff of All-India Radio in New Delhi.
NODU C. MULLICK not only plays the Tamboura but is also a master instrument maker and craftsman. He made the Sitar which Ravi Shankar plays. It is fashioned of seasoned gourds and teakwood, with 20 movable metal frets, and 6 main strings with 19 sympathetic resonating strings set below them.
ALAN HOVHANESS, author of the annotation, which precedes the biographical information printed above, is perhaps the leading American authority on the music of the East, and particularly that of India. He is a former director of music for the Near and Middle East sections of the Voice of America. As a composer who writes in a highly original non-harmonic style based on the musical forms and practices of the East, he has won several major awards and honors, and is one of the most widely performed composers of our time.
© Columbia CBS RECORDS, WL 119, 1958.
Dick Bock released two anthologies of Indian Music, one a two LP gatefold edition and the other a more elaborate boxed set with three LPs, a handsome booklet on parchment papers detailing the history and background of Indian Music.
The Howard Lucraft photos that greatly enhance this presentation have been provided courtesy of CTSIMAGES. The author would like to extend a most heartfelt thanks to Cynthia Sesso, Licensing Administrator of the Howard Lucraft Collection. Please note that these photos remain the property of the Howard Lucraft Collection and are used here with permission. Any inquiries regarding their use, commercial or otherwise, should be directed to: Cynthia Sesso at CTSIMAGES.
The following obituary is from the New York Times, December 12, 2012.
Ravi Shankar, Sitarist Who Introduced Indian Music to the West, Dies at 92
George Harrison with Ravi Shankar in 1967.
By ALLAN KOZINN
Published: December 12, 2012
Ravi Shankar, the sitar virtuoso and composer who died on Tuesday at 92, created a passion among Western audiences for the rhythmically vital, melodically flowing ragas of classical Indian music — a fascination that had expanded by the mid-1970s into a flourishing market for world music of all kinds.
In particular, his work with two young semi-apprentices in the 1960s — George Harrison of the Beatles and the composer Philip Glass, a founder of Minimalism — was profoundly influential on both popular and classical music. And his interactions throughout his career with performers from various Asian and Western traditions — including the violinist Yehudi Menuhin, the flutist Jean-Pierre Rampal and the saxophonist and composer John Coltrane — created hybrids that opened listeners’ ears to timbres, rhythms and tuning systems that were entirely new to them.
Mr. Shankar died in San Diego, at a hospital near his home. He had been treated for upper-respiratory and heart ailments in the last year and underwent heart-valve replacement surgery last Thursday, his family said. His final performance was a concert with his daughter, the virtuoso sitarist Anoushka Shankar, on Nov. 4 in Long Beach, Calif. He was also the father of the singer Norah Jones.
Mr. Shankar, a soft-spoken, eloquent man whose own virtuosity transcended musical languages, was trained in both Eastern and Western musical traditions. Although Western audiences were often mystified by the odd sounds and shapes of the instruments when he began touring in Europe and the United States in the early 1950s, Mr. Shankar and his ensemble gradually built a large following for Indian music.
A Beatle Was Intrigued
Western interest in his instrument, the sitar, exploded in 1965 when Harrison encountered one on the set of “Help!,” the Beatles’ second film. Harrison was intrigued by the instrument, with its small rounded body, long neck and resonating gourd at the top, and its complexity: it has 6 or 7 melody strings and about twice as many sympathetic strings, which are not played but which resonate freely as the other strings are plucked. He soon learned its rudiments and used it that year on a Beatles recording, “Norwegian Wood.”
The Rolling Stones, the Animals, the Byrds and other rock groups followed suit, although few went as far as Harrison, who recorded several songs on Beatles albums with Indian musicians rather than with his band mates. By the summer of 1967 the sitar was in vogue.
At first Mr. Shankar reveled in the attention his connection with popular culture had brought him, and he performed for huge audiences at the Monterey International Pop Festival in 1967 and at Woodstock in 1969. He also performed, with the tabla virtuoso Alla Rakha and the sarod player Ali Akbar Khan, at an all-star concert at Madison Square Garden in 1971 that Harrison had organized to help Mr. Shankar raise money for victims of political upheaval in Bangladesh.
But his reach went much further. He composed for films (including the score for Richard Attenborough’s “Gandhi” in 1982), ballets, electronic works and concertos for sitar and Western orchestras. As his popularity spread, societies for the presentation of Indian and other traditional music began springing up — the largest one in New York is the World Music Institute — and a thriving world music industry was soon born.
Last week Mr. Shankar was told he would receive a lifetime achievement Grammy Award in February, said Neil Portnow, president of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences.
Though linked with the early rock era by many Americans, Mr. Shankar came to regard his participation in rock festivals as a mistake, saying he deplored the use of his music, with its roots in an ancient spiritual tradition, as a backdrop for drug use.
“On one hand,” he said in a 1985 interview, “I was lucky to have been there at a time when society was changing. And although much of the hippie movement seemed superficial, there was also a lot of sincerity in it, and a tremendous amount of energy. What disturbed me, though, was the use of drugs and the mixing of drugs with our music. And I was hurt by the idea that our classical music was treated as a fad — something that is very common in Western countries.
“People would come to my concerts stoned, and they would sit in the audience drinking Coke and making out with their girlfriends. I found it very humiliating, and there were many times I picked up my sitar and walked away.
“I tried to make the young people sit properly and listen. I assured them that if they wanted to be high, I could make them feel high through the music, without drugs, if they’d only give me a chance. It was a terrible experience at the time.
“But you know, many of those young people still come to our concerts. They have matured, they are free from drugs and they have a better attitude. And this makes me happy that I went through all that. I have come full circle.”
Ravi Shankar, whose formal name was Robindra Shankar Chowdhury, was born on April 7, 1920, in Varanasi, India, to a family of musicians and dancers. His older brother Uday directed a touring Indian dance troupe, which Ravi joined when he was 10. Within five years he had become one of the company’s star soloists. He also discovered that he had a facility with the sitar and the sarod, another stringed instrument, as well as the flute and the tabla, an Indian drum.
The idea of helping Western listeners appreciate the intricacies of Indian music occurred to him during his years as a dancer.
“My brother had a house in Paris,” he recalled in one interview. “To it came many Western classical musicians. These musicians all made the same point: ‘Indian music,’ they said, ‘is beautiful when we hear it with the dancers. On its own it is repetitious and monotonous.’ They talked as if Indian music were an ethnic phenomenon, just another museum piece. Even when they were being decent and kind, I was furious. And at the same time sorry for them. Indian music was so rich and varied and deep. These people hadn’t penetrated even the outer skin.” Mr. Shankar soon found, however, that as a young, self-taught musician he had not penetrated very deeply either. In 1936 an Indian court musician, Allaudin Khan, joined the company for a year and set Mr. Shankar on a different path.
‘I Surrendered Myself’
“He was the first person frank enough to tell me that I had talent but that I was wasting it — that I was going nowhere, doing nothing,” Mr. Shankar said. “Everyone else was full of praise, but he killed my ego and made me humble.”
When Mr. Shankar asked Mr. Khan to teach him, he was told that he could learn to play the sitar only after he decided to give up the worldly life he was leading and devote himself fully to his studies. In 1937 Mr. Shankar gave up dancing, sold his Western clothes and returned to India to become a musician.
“I surrendered myself to the old way,” he said, “and let me tell you, it was difficult for me to go from places like New York and Chicago to a remote village full of mosquitoes, bedbugs, lizards and snakes, with frogs croaking all night. I was just like a Western young man. But I overcame all that.”
After studying with Mr. Khan and marrying his daughter, Annapurna, also a sitarist, Mr. Shankar began his performing career in India. In the 1940s he started bringing Eastern and Western currents together in ballet scores and incidental music for films, including Satyajit Ray’s “Apu” trilogy, in the late 1950s. In 1949 he was appointed music director of All India Radio. There he formed the National Orchestra, an ensemble of Indian and Western classical instruments.
Mr. Shankar became increasingly interested in touring outside India in the early 1950s. His appetite was whetted further when he undertook a tour of the Soviet Union in 1954 and was invited to perform in London and New York. But it wasn’t until 1956 that he began spending long periods outside India. That year he left his position at All India Radio and toured Europe and the United States. Through his recitals and his recordings on the Columbia, EMI and World Pacific labels, Mr. Shankar built a Western following for the sitar. In 1952 he began performing with Menuhin, with whom he made three recordings for EMI: “West Meets East” (1967), “West Meets East, Vol. 2” (1968) and “Improvisations: West Meets East” (1977). He also made recordings with Rampal.
Coltrane had become fascinated with Indian music and philosophy in the early 1960s and met with Mr. Shankar several times from 1964 to 1966 to learn the basics of ragas, talas and Indian improvisation techniques. Sitar performances are partly improvised, but the improvisations are strictly governed by a repertory of ragas (melodic patterns representing specific moods, times of day, seasons or events) and talas (intricate rhythmic patterns) that date back several millenniums. Coltrane named his son Ravi Coltrane, also a saxophonist, after Mr. Shankar.
Mr. Shankar loved to mix the music of different cultures. In 1978 he collaborated with several prominent Japanese musicians — Hozan Yamamoto, a shakuhachi player, and Susumu Miyashita, a koto player — on “East Greets East.” In 1988 his seven-movement “Swar Milan” was performed at the Palace of Culture in Moscow by an ensemble of 140 musicians, including the Russian Folk Ensemble, members of the Moscow Philharmonic and the Ministry of Culture Chorus, as well as Mr. Shankar’s group of Indian musicians. And in 1990 he collaborated with Mr. Glass — who had worked as his assistant on the film score for “Chappaqua” in the late 1960s — on “Passages,” a recording of works he and Mr. Glass composed for each other.
“I have always had an instinct for doing new things,” Mr. Shankar said in 1985. “Call it good or bad, I love to experiment.”
Though many listeners became familiar with Mr. Shankar mainly through his cross-cultural, style-blending experiments, his film scores and his concertos, his main love remained the ancient Northern Indian Hindustani style in which he was trained as a young man. Throughout his career he toured the world with a variation on the traditional Indian ensemble: himself as the sitar soloist, backed by a pair of tamburas — string instruments that provide a backing drone — and tabla, a sublimely tactile percussion instrument that produces rounded, subtly bending pitches.
Often his tabla player was Alla Rakha, who became a renowned soloist in his own right. At times, Mr. Shankar also shared the spotlight with Ali Akbar Khan, a master of the sarod, another Indian stringed instrument. These concerts, including an annual performance at Carnegie Hall, adhered to traditional forms, in which the musicians would improvise on a raga, often ecstatically, for about an hour per piece.
A Lasting Friendship
Western listeners who were sensitive to the techniques that Mr. Shankar and his musicians were using to expand on the ragas found the music entrancing and Mr. Shankar’s inventiveness and dexterity startling. Many sought out the music of other sitar, sarod and tabla soloists, as well as Indian vocalists, and branched out to other forms of world music, from China, Japan, Indonesia and eventually African and Latin American countries.
Mr. Shankar maintained his friendship and working relationship with Harrison, who released a recording of a 1972 performance by Mr. Shankar on the Beatles’ Apple label. In 1974 Harrison also produced a recording on his own Dark Horse label by a group billed as Shankar Family and Friends performing in a more popular style — short, bright-edged songs with vocals, rather than expansive instrumental improvisations.
The “friends” included Harrison, listed in the credits as Hari Georgeson, as well as the bassist Klaus Voormann, the pianist Nicky Hopkins, the organist Billy Preston and the flutist Tom Scott. Mr. Shankar toured the United States with Harrison the same year. They last worked together in 1997, when Harrison produced Mr. Shankar’s “Chants of India” CD for EMI.
After Harrison’s death in 2001, Mr. Shankar contributed a new composition to the “Concert for George,” a starry celebration of Harrison’s music staged at the Royal Albert Hall in London in 2002. The new piece, “Arpan,” was performed by an ensemble of Indian and Western musicians led by Anoushka Shankar.
Protecting the Heritage
Mr. Shankar continued to be regarded in the West as the most eloquent spokesman for his country’s music. But his popularity abroad and his experiments with Western musical sounds and styles drew criticism among traditionalists in India.
“In India I have been called a destroyer,” he said in 1981. “But that is only because they mixed my identity as a performer and as a composer. As a composer I have tried everything, even electronic music and avant-garde. But as a performer I am, believe me, getting more classical and more orthodox, jealously protecting the heritage that I have learned.”
Mr. Shankar was a member of the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian Parliament, from 1986 to 1992 — one of 12 “nominated members” chosen by the president for their contributions to Indian culture.
Mr. Shankar taught extensively in the United States and founded a school of Indian music, the Kinnara School, in Los Angeles. He was a visiting professor at City College in New York in 1967. Recordings of his lectures there were the basis for “Learning Indian Music,” a set of cassettes. Mr. Shankar was the subject of a documentary, “Raga: A Film Journey Into the Soul of India,” in 1971, and published two autobiographies: “My Music, My Life” in 1969 and “Raga Mala” in 1997.
In 2010 the Ravi Shankar Foundation started a record label, East Meets West Music, which began by reissuing some of his historic recordings and films, including “Raga.”
Mr. Shankar’s first marriage, to Annapurna Devi, ended in the late 1960s. They had a son, Shubhendra Shankar, who died in 1992. He also had long relationships with Kamala Shastri, a dancer; Sue Jones, a concert producer, with whom he had a daughter, Ms. Jones, in 1979; as well as Sukanya Rajan, whom he married in 1989. Ms. Shankar, the sitar virtuoso, is their daughter, born in 1981. He is survived by his wife and two daughters, as well as three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
“If I’ve accomplished anything in these past 30 years,” Mr. Shankar said in the 1985 interview, “it’s that I have been able to open the door to our music in the West. I enjoy seeing other Indian musicians — old and young — coming to Europe and America and having some success. I’m happy to have contributed to that.
“Of course now there is a whole new generation out there, so we have to start all over again. To a degree their interest in India has been kindled by ‘Gandhi,’ ‘Passage to India’ and ‘The Jewel in the Crown,’ ” he added, referring to popular Western films and TV shows. “What we have to do now is convey to them an awareness of the richness and diversity of our culture.”
This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:Correction: December 29, 2012
An obituary on Dec. 13 about the sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar misstated the number of strings on a sitar. Sitars have either six or seven melody strings, and the number of sympathetic strings varies but is usually between 11 and 13; they do not have six melody strings and 25 sympathetic strings.
Richard Eugene Bock passed away on February 5, 1988. Services were held at the Self-Realisation Fellowship in Los Angeles.
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