Ravi shankar

It takes a trained ear fully to appreciate Indian music

At George Harrison’s 1971 concert for Bangladesh, awkwardly, the audience applauded after Ravi Shankar and his musicians had paused to tune their sitars and tablas. ‘If you appreciated the tuning so much,’ Shankar said, half in jest, ‘I hope you’ll enjoy the music even more.’ To the untrained ear, Indian music may sound unmelodious and directionless as it strays into apparent pre-concert tuning registers and monotony. Nonetheless, its transcendental Zen-like qualities impressed Richard Wagner, who was drawn to the spirituality and joss-stick mysticism (as he saw it) of the east. A devotional song performed by the Punjab Sufi vocalist Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan can soar as ecstatically as Parsifal. Indeed