If you are a true music fan, then you will agree that the tone of the sitar is truly the unique and irreplaceable melody present in the music genre. In simple words, sitar music can enhance any tune or song. Origin of sitar dates back to 1700, and the musicians believe that after the downfall of the Moghul Empire the usage of this instrument became prevalent. But the healing sound of sitar that provides you with inner peace is not that easy to master as you think it might be. In fact, some of the most talented musicians have admitted that they find the technique of sitar playing highly complex. So if an individual has developed the ability to play the sitar then they have accomplished a challenging task in the field of music.
When it comes to recalling the names of the great sitar players what is the first name that comes to your mind? Is it Ravi Shankar or is it Vilayat Khan? Either of the two sitar players is of Indian and Middle Eastern origin. This is a natural fact since sitar is the most recognised music instrument of Indo-eastern regions. However, did you ever feel that there can also be sitar players from western origin? In this respect, it should be mentioned that the popularity of Ravi Shankar’s sitar would not have been possible without the help of George Harrison, the lead guitarist of Beatles and a marvellous sitar player himself. You will thus find an assortment of sitar players of different origins in this article.
Check out the names below because some of them may surprise you.
Pandit Ravi Shankar:
There is no separate introduction required for this versatile sitar player who introduced a different side of classical music to the world. After collaborating with Beatles, he was the first one to launch the psychedelic sound globally. Although the maestro had a rough beginning in his earlier days, however completing his 96th birthday this year, Ravi Shankar is now a name that defines “a life well lived”.
Belonging to the famous Khan Family of musicians, Vilayat Khan helped introducing the classical music in the western part of the world. Coming from the Etawah Gharana, Vilayat Khan inherited the musical genes of his forefathers. Vilayat Khan’s great composition can be heard in Oscar winner film director Satyajit Ray’s Film Jalshagar. His works were appreciated by awarding him a silver medal in 1st Moscow International Film Festival.
Pandit Nikhil Ranjan Banerjee:
Belonging to the Maihar Gharana and the student of the legendary Allauddin Khan, Pandit Nikhil was always considered as a child prodigy and is a notable sitar player of the 20th century. His works were appreciated by conferring him with the Padma Bhushan.
Do you remember Ronnie Wood from famous The Rolling Stones? You may have always seen him performing with a guitar; however, the artist had a passion for sitar and was an accomplished sitar player. The artist is one the sitar players who used electric sitars for modifying the music of sitar.
Inheriting the talent of father Pandit Ravi Shankar, Anushka Shankar at the age of 35 years has made her place among the list of famous sitar players. Rather than living under the identity of father and half-sister Norah Jones. Anoushka has been able to develop her own identity and received the British House of Commons Shield in the year 1998. She has been taking training directly from her father and is currently an independent composer and sitar player.
Popularly known as “The quiet Beatle”, George Harrison was the lead guitarist of the most famous band The Beatles. Creator of some of the immemorial songs like “Within You without You”, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”, “Here Comes the Sun” and “Something”, George Harrison was eager to learn the melodious music of sitar and hence build his friendship with Ravi Shankar. Further, it was found that George Harrison received training from Shambhu Das, the prodigy of Ravi Shankar. Harrison’s performance of “Love you too” will make you agree to the fact that it is by far the most melodious rock sitar music that has been produced in the industry.
So next time you develop an urge for hearing good sitar music, you know which artist to search and hear.