Google’s doodle on its homepage today pays tribute to sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar. Designed by Kevin Laughlin, the doodle remembers the sitar virtuoso on his 96th birth anniversary. Describing the concept behind the doodle design, Google writes, “It has two bridges, one for the “drone” strings and the other for the melody strings. Laughlin’s design shows the style of sitar Shankar played, which includes a second gourd-shape resonator at the top of the instrument’s neck.” Also Read - Google might be working on a 'Find My' network clone for Android users
Ravi Shankar was born as Robindro Shaunkor Chowdhury in 1920 at Varanasi. He spent most of his youth touring India and Europe with his brother Uday Shankar’s dance troupe. He would however give up dancing and take up the sitar instead, learning under the guidance of court musician Allauddin Khan. Also Read - PUBG New State receives over 17 million pre-registrations as closed alpha testing ends
Shankar is credited with popularizing Indian music in the West, especially the use of Indian instruments. He would perform with violinist Yehudi Menuhin, and also played the sitar with the London Symphony Orchestra. Also Read - Samsung and LG confirm presence at in-person CES 2022
Shankar is also well-known for his friendship with The Beatles’ George Harrison. He not only taught Harrison how to play the sitar, but also played a hand in the birth of the raga rock genre. Raga, Shankar said has “its own peculiar ascending and descending movement consisting of either a full seven-note octave, or a series of six or five notes in a rising or falling structure.” Shankar is also remembered for composing the music for Satyajit Ray’s Apu Trilogy.
The musician was also awarded the Bharat Ratna, which is India’s highest civilian honor. Shankar passed away on December 11, 2012 in San Diego after undergoing a heart valve replacement surgery.
With inputs from agencies.