Post Independence Indian Music

The developments mentioned in the previous article made the world to sit and notice the beauty of Indian music. It also triggered a chain of many memorable associations between Indian and western musicians. Following the partnership with Beatles’, Pandit Ravi Shankar went ahead and forged a famous association with renowned musician Yehudi Menuhin. The duo produced many unforgettable east-west albums. He also worked with American discreet composer, Philip Glass, on a work called “Passages”. This work, just like his previous works was appreciated as well.  Pandit Ravi Shankar was truly a trailblazer. He literally triggered a chain of associations. He is undeniably one of the most well known non- Western musicians in the Western world. He also presented other Indian musicians an example. Famous Violinists L. Shankar and L. Subramaniam are also credited to work with western musicians and produce masterpieces. Because of the work of these eminent musicians, Indian classical music can reasonably be described as having carved a niche for itself in the universe of concert music.


In recent times, Indian-western music collaborations have become a common sight. Playback singers like Asha Bhosle worked with different rock bands of USA. Similarly one of the best talents to come out of India A R Rehman has earned great appreciation in the western world. The world has truly become an abode for Indian musicians.


Indian music entered a new era after independence. The turning point came in 1960s. This was the time when classical Indian music took a definite term. With world becoming a closer place for musicians, Indian musicians started making mark for themselves in the western countries. The trend was started by Pandit Ravi Shankar who was gaining popularity in USA. His moment of fame arrived in form of his collaboration with legendary musical band “The Beatles”. Pandit Ravi Shankar played sitar for Beatles’ album which went on to become a huge hit. He later shifted to United States. Thus began a new chapter in Indian music. Western students started learning Indian classical music. Another great musician Sarod maestro Ali Akbar Khan also gained popularity in USA and subsequently he settled there.


Another factor which contributed in the development of Indian classical music in the western world was renowned movie director Satyajit Ray. He was the first Indian director to attain world wide recognition. He was an institution in meaningful art cinemas. To his credit, he collaborated with Ravi Shankar and Vilayat Khan, who composed music for some of his movies. Vilayat Khan is one of the greatest Sitarist India has ever produced. Combination of these greats also helped in bringing Indian music to the attention of advanced world.