Yesterday we heard Ravi Shankar’s music combining Indian and Western classical instrumentation. Today we will hear how Ravi inspired many other musicians, including George Harrison from The Beatles.
“Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)” is a song by The Beatles from their 1965 album Rubber Soul. The track features a sitar part, played by lead guitarist George Harrison. This was the first appearance of the Indian string instrument on a Western rock recording. The song also helped elevate Ravi Shankar and Indian classical music to mainstream popularity in the West, and the song is recognised as a key work in the early evolution of world music.
Many other rock and pop artists, including the Rolling Stones went on to integrate elements of Indian classical music into their musical approach. This became know as raga rock.
Here is another example of raga rock from the 1960s: