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Credit: White House/Tom Margie


Footage of Ravi Shankar teaching George Harrison how to play the sitar has been unearthed

Some rarely seen footage of Ravi Shankar teaching The Beatles guitarist George Harrison how to play the sitar has surfaced.

The footage has been shared by The Ravi Shankar Foundation alongside the BBC to commemorate what would have been the “godfather of world music” 100th birthday.

Plans were in place to celebrate the icon’s centenary with some huge events across the globe. But in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, they have all been cancelled.

Instead, the BBC have shared some rarely seen footage of the star. The clip sees Shankar at a number of gigs as well as teaching Harrison how to play the traditional instrument. You can watch it on the BBC.

Shankar was a huge influence on Harrison during his years with The Beatles and even went on to help form his post-Beatles identity, inspiring Harrison to organise the Concert For Bangladesh.

Talking to the BBC about the new footage, Shankar’s daughter Anoushka said: “Most people across cultures and generations seem to know the name Shankar. There definitely were decades where he was the household Indian name that was putting India on the map, culturally and artistically.”

The sitarist was a champion of inner peace providing the best place for creativity Anoushka believes it may provide hope for some of those who feel trapped by our current situation.

“I really do think that lots of people are turning into their kind of higher selves and that positivity and that hope and peace that I do think it makes a difference. And so any art, anything that helps people do that has incredible value.”