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CC The Impact and Relevance of Ravi Shankars Musical Career Discussion

In this module, we discussed the life, career, and music of Ravi Shankar. In addition, we
discussed his influence on music outside of his native country of India. Shankar had a successful
and unrivaled career within his own country, and the success of his career grew exponentially
after building a relationship with George Harrison and when The West discovered his talent.
The impact of his career after global recognition was really two-fold: in one aspect, he was
recognized by the world over as a classical musician of India and appreciated in, more or less,
his own musical context. In another aspect, this global recognition also impacted new and
popular music from those who wanted to learn sitar and the Indian classical tradition, like
George Harrison.  

Take a moment to reflect on these two impactful contributions to Ravi Shankar’s musical
heritage. Was the world ready to appreciate Shankar’s music for what it was as part of it’s own
musical tradition, or was it so well received because people were seeking something truly
different from what they were raised to believe about music? Were people of the West
romanticizing the classical Indian tradition that Shankar represented? Or was the whole
movement of “looking East” just exoticizing Indian music? Is the whole experience of embracing
classical Indian music part of inevitable globalization? (Such as how the Beatles incorporated
aspects of Indian music into their mainstream music making the sounds more familiar and

Essay Assignment:
Taking from the content shared in this module (assigned readings, videos, lectures), as well as
from previous module’s materials discussing globalization and exoticism, share your opinion on
the impact and relevance of Ravi Shankar’s career and his legacy of sharing his native musical
tradition with the world. Importantly, this is a reflection and opinion paper, not a research
paper. There is no single correct answer here, but move beyond merely stating your opinion
and make a greater move to explain why. Use any of the questions raised in the writing prompt
above as a point of departure. But please do not feel pressured to answer all of the prompts or
questions; the assignment is too brief to do that. Rather, view the above prompts and
questions as a menu from which you can choose ideas that you wish to discuss.


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