Everyone loves a little piece of music that brings joy to the soul. Music is after all a sweet nectar that is helping get the world cultures together and erases hatred from the face of Earth. Both the Indian as well as the Western music cultures has contributed a lot to each other. The Indian music has been influenced by the Jazz and the Blues while the Tanpura and the table have changed the flavor of western music. Many musicians have contributed to this – Prem Joshua, Krishna Das and Ravi Shankar being a few names, which have made a difference.
Ravi Shankar(pic above with George Harrison from Beatles) was a man who brought in what we call World Music. The Beatles’ member, George Harrison describes him as “the godfather of world music”. He introduced the magic of sitar and Indian classical music to the western music and revolutionized the way world perceives music today. Ravi Shankar was a global citizen and hence influenced the global music scenario a great deal. The Beatles were greatly influenced by this maestro and also studied under him for quite some time. He is truly one of those great people who have inched the gap between the western and the Indian classical music closer with their work.
Prem Joshua is a German musician. Joshua moved to India at the age of 18 to study indigenous folk music of different countries. He added the name Prem when he came to India dropping his family name. He learned sitar from Ustad Usman Khan and Osho. Joshua has experimented a lot with various forms of music, creating some of the finest blends of indian music and western music. His work, Dance of Shakti, Luminous Secrets and Yatri are a few of the best compositions. He has played a very important role in bringing the Indian classical music to the world music scenario and has repeatedly proved that music has no boundaries.
Born by the name Jeffrey Kagel, Krishna Das is the most popular Kirtan singer in the world. He was born on 31st May 1947. After a lot of experimentation with Rock and Roll, he turned to Indian classical music and travelled down to India in 1970 and studied under Guru Neem Karoli Baba. He learnt the art of Yoga and devotion in India and later went on to practice Kirtan full time. He has reproduced Kirtan to the world and led the devotional music of India to new corners of the world. He continues to work on Kirtan and produce the most soul filling music. Krishna has played a key role in bringing together the western and the Indian music as he uses the best of the both for his compositions.
While many musicians – Indian and abroad have been responsible for putting India in the world music scene. Write about the musicians who have helped this development in the comments section.