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Ravi Shankar

Ravi Shankar

This project will be carried out to examine how Ravi Shankar influenced the world by his
activities. The project engages to identify the origin of Hindustani music. The project also aims
to discover the similarities between raga and jazz as used in Hindustani music. This is by
reviewing the play ‘My favorite things’ by Coltrane. Following an introductory exploration of
both Coltrane’s musical career prior to 1960 and the “standard” form of “My Favorite Things,”
the paper will compare and contrast Coltrane’s recordings of the piece: his 1960 studio
recording, a more extended performance at the 1963 Newport Jazz Festival, and the last
recording of the piece by his “classic quartet” in1965. These comparisons will reveal the
evolution of both Coltrane’s own playing and the dynamics of his group’s interplay. They will
also reflect the influence of African, Indian, and Western art music upon Coltrane and the modal
and free styles of jazz in the 1960s.
The interviews to get information were conducted in music theatres in India and the
Western countries. A group of music analysts interviewed the music teachers in India and the
United States. The group also did literature research to garner information about Ravi Shankar
and his contributions to the classical and modern music.
Introduction to Hindustani

Ravi Shankar
Ravi Shankar, a self-proclaimed figure, happened to have lived between 1920-2012 in the
current day India. In the word of music, Shankar was widely recognized as a performer,

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musician, composer, and a well-known scholar of classical Indian music. He is still remembered
for being one of the leading cultural figures of the 21 st C whose achievements placed him as the
leading icon of a significant music tradition. One of his profound visions was to ensure a stress
free and violence free world (Michael 2007).
Ravi Shamir Biography
Shankar was born in Varanasi, India on April 7, 1920. He later moved to Paris in 1930
where most of his education was undertaken. From as early as 12 years old, he had started
performing as a talented music dancer and as musician on a tour together with his elder brother
Uday Shankar. In 1939, he held an ambivalent concert at music conference at Allahabad where
he took the role of a soloist. His reputation as a remarkable leading performer of traditional
Hindustani music had spread like bushfire by 1945. Shankar started to branch out as a composer
where he started writing music for ballet and for significant films such as Neecha Nagar and
Dharti ke Lal (Bhatt & Kashmiri Education, Culture, and Science Society 2008).
Shankar is also remembered to have composed the song Sare Jahan Se Accha, which is
widely applicable today as second to the national Anthem of India. His reputation rewarded him
the Music Director of All-India Radio at Delphi in 1949, and developed the Vadya Vrinda
chamber Orchestra. The period 1950-1955 was very intense to him, particularly, involvement in
internationally-acclaimed film studios of Calcutta where he was bumped up with a Ray Triology.
He received glamorously the first of five presidential Awards, India’s most honorable title, in

  1. Throughout the year between 1960-65, Shankar had become one of the world’s leading
    serious musicians. George Harrison of the Beatles composed a deep, engulfed interest in the

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Hindustani music, and started to study with Shamir. One of the impacts of this study can be
listened in his song ‘Within you, Without You’ (Rachael & Jeffrey 2006).
Ravi Shankar and the western world
Shankar’s performance used typical venue description of live or typical performance
recording and his musical contributions are enormous to the community. Shankar and the
western world were so diffused that he used the Western world’s personalities such as Eric
Nisenson to record and to spread the ‘gospel’ of Hindustani music (Michael 2007). The western
world perception of the Hindustani music it brings about globalization. The western world has
found that Hindustani is associated with economic expansions. This was brought by the fact that
racial integration diffuses knowledge and ideas in the system. The resultant effect was invention
and innovation, which will consequently resulted into globalization (Titon, Timothy, Locke,
Anne, John, Jonathan, McAllester, and David 2009).

The Western Word’s reception of the Hindustani Music

Having an extensive effect on music lovers on the Western World, Shankar brought
advertisement of magnificent technologies through avenues such as television, print media, and
social media. There are current influences of the Hindustani music in today’s music genres. This
comes in form of modifying tonal setups established by Ravi Shankar (Titon, Timothy, Locke,
Anne, John, Jonathan, McAllester, and David 2009).Although there might be an impact on the
whole format, it cannot fully reduce the quality of the Hindustani Music and vice-versa. The
magnificent works of the Hindustani were welcomed by both hands by the Western World
(Rachael & Jeffrey 2006). Borrowing of the techniques and use of instruments by both cultures is
highly visible up to the current date. Hindustani spread the music to all parts of the world

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effectively by avenues such as magazines, social media, and print media (Rachael & Jeffrey
2006). The music is adequately disbursed to all parts including African countries. The impact is
reacted to by spontaneous change in music industries. Ravi Shankar was a household name in
60’s music lovers; he was synonymous with Indian music (Bhatt & Kashmiri Education, Culture,
and Science Society 2008). The impact of Hindustani continues to reign in the music industry up
Hindustani music’s effects on the world
The effects of the Hindustani music to the western world are tremendous. These can
encompasses music students in search of a style, who formally meet a trainer of an ancient’s
musical tradition. This impact revolves about enrichment of vocabulary of a student. The
composition and improvisation by creative artistes leads to continual change of tastes and
preferences (Michael 2007). The impact can also involve a western performer of Indian music
both in and outside India. In this case, the performer is able to appreciate both cultures. Both
cultures integrate the virtual of non-racial segregation in their performances. A music teacher, for
instance, integrating Indian pedagogy into the western music classroom, will still feel the effect
of the Hindustani music (Titon, Timothy, Locke, Anne, John, Jonathan, McAllester, and David
The effects extend even to a composer researching the contacts and compare them
between Indian, western, and other music of the world. The performers are able to form contacts
from various parts of the world, as a result of meeting at frequent times. This takes the format of
housing many traditions and cultures under one roof (Aaron 2010). The effects are still felt today

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as many people are in constant motion to move from India to the Western World and vice-versa.
There is still incorporation of both tradition genres in their activities. Hindustani by Shankar
changed the world by advocating a free world where all faith and beliefs are contained and
appreciated. The world today is featured by holistic integration of all cultures in the music field
(Titon, Timothy, Locke, Anne, John, Jonathan, McAllester, and David 2009).
The effects of Ravi’s introduction to Hindustani music has been beneficial to people in
that many are able to describe themselves through songs. Music competitions are held all over
the world and it comprises the whole generation in the determination of the winner (Aaron
2010). By 1960, the use of hallucinogenic drugs was rampant. It made singers and artistes freely
display their habit in their performance. This is not the case today because there are strict
measures to deal with the vice. The heavy use of hallucinogenic drugs by 1960 lead to secession
of races (Michael 2007).
The western music at that time considered itself superior than any other in the world. But,
the western world today views the heavy use of hallucinogenic drugs as one of the connecting
factor between musicians of all genres. During 1960’s drugs, psycledia played in a crucial part in
openness in amplifying an individual’s abilities. This was purely western phenomenon, a
distinguished product of rock culture as in reality. Contrarily, Indian music and drugs are polar
opposites (Rachael & Jeffrey 2006). Hippy connotations were mainly used by Western world’s
musicians to rejuvenate their styles and performances (Bhatt & Kashmiri Education, Culture, and
Science Society 2008).
John McLaughlin and other musicians such as Mr. Peppers diffused the works of Ravi
Shankar to attest that Indiana music had a connection with spirituality. Being a disciple of

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Bengali guru Sri Chinmoy, he wore a shirt of him during Mahavishnu period (Aaron 2010). Due
to this spiritual connectedness, a growing number of musicians from whom Indian music is part
of their flesh are arising. Shakti being a die-hard spiritualist employed his principles to
incorporate those of Ravi to send message globally. In his association with George Harrison of
the Beatles, Ravi was able to popularize Indian music to the western world. Most of the highly
expressive melodies done by Shanker alongside his longtime table player Alla Rakha, was The
Doors, Jimi Henrix and he Grateful Dead (Rachael & Jeffrey 2006).
Coltrane in his play ‘my favorite things’ offers a brief outline of the similarities between
Raga and Jazz. Both of them employ modal music that is played every day throughout the
world/. Coltrane attributed raga and jazz with respect to all religions in all kind of mysticism.
Jazz and raga employs similar short compositions, mostly a melody with should variations that
also serve as avenues for improvisation. Improvisation of jazz is always expected. Both genres
are much similar in the moment art, in that it requires immediate music making, and both require
period of amicable discipline and the research before one can play them well (Aaron 2010).
Both jazz and Indian music, just like languages, have grammar, pronunciation, and
vocabulary, and contrary to their differences, they share many sonic components in the sphere of
human musical expression. Both genres uses harmony and tonal content in their formats, but jazz
in western music is grounded on progressive harmony (Bhatt & Kashmiri Education, Culture,
and Science Society 2008). Indian music uses elongated compositions (Kritis) that are a major
part of the repertoire, and jazz also has the same repertoire of elongated compositions that are
played verbatim. This alone gives a tremendous quantity of common base and conceptual
strength between Indian music and jazz.

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Work cited
Aaron, B. The improvising mind: cognition and creativity in the musical content. Oxford:
Oxford University Press.2010. Print.
Biju, M. Kerala tradition: fascinating destination. Kochi: Info Kerala Publications. 2011. Print.

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Bhatt, S: Kashmiri Education, Culture, and Science Society. Kashmir scholars’ contribution to
knowledge and world peace: proceeding of national seminar by Kashmir Education,
Culture & Science Society (K.E.C.S.S.), New Delphi. New Delphi: A.P.H. Publications.

  1. Print
    Titon, Jeff T, Timothy J. Cooley, David Locke, Anne K. Rasmussen, John M. Schechter,
    Jonathan P. J. Stock, David P. McAllester, and David B. Reck. Worlds of Music: An
    Introduction to the Music of the World’s Peoples. Belmont, Calif.: Schirmer/Cengage
    Learning, 2009. Print.
    Michael B. World music: traditions and transformations. Boston: McGraw-Hill. 2007. Print.
    Rachael, R. & Jeffrey P. Immigration of American popular culture: an introduction. New
    York: New York University Press. 2006. Print.
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