Ravi Shankar

Sound of the Sitar

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AllMusic Review

By far the most famous of all sitar players, Ravi Shankar has long been a beacon of light for Indian music worldwide. SOUND OF THE SITAR is made up of four compositions.

The first, "Raga Malkauns: Alap" is a slow, reflective piece. According to Shankar, the section of a raga known as the Alap is difficult to play because it is an invocation, a prayer meant to be performed with great humility. The second piece is, "Raga Malkauns: Jor." The Jor section of a raga is based on a rhythmic pulse and does not a have a strict rhythmic time cycle like the Alap. As this piece develops, much like Western music, it becomes more dense and climactic. The third piece, "Tala Sawari" includes a wonderful tabla solo by Alla Rakha. This piece also uses boles, vocal mnemonics that imitate the various tones produced on the drums. The final selection, "Pahar Dhun" is a cheerful improvisation based on the folk melodies of India. SOUND OF THE SITAR is one of Ravi Shankar's best early albums.

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