Google is paying tribute today to Indian-born Pandit Ravi Shankar on what would have been the musician’s 96th birthday, replacing its usual logo with a doodle depicting Shankar’s sitar.
The doodle leads to a search for “Pandit Ravi Shankar” and is being displayed on Google’s home page in a handful of countries, including the US, the UK, Sweden, Lithuania, Serbia, Greece, Isreal, Kazakhstan, Japan, Indonesia and India.
Google says Laughlin’s artwork, designed by doodler Kevin Laughlin, is meant to reflect the style of sitar Shankar played, with two bridges — one for the “drone” strings and one for the melody strings — and a second gourd-shaped resonator at the top of the instrument’s neck.
“Shankar’s music popularized the fundamentals of Indian music, including raga, a melodic form,” says Google on its Doodle blog.
Many know Shankar as the musician who brought Indian music to the western world, teaching George Harrison how to play the sitar in the mid-1960s. In addition to his collaborations with Harrison, Shankar frequently performed alongside the violinist Yehudi Menuhin, worked with composer Philip Glass and composed a concerto for the London Symphony Orchestra.
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