Google today doodles to celebrate what would have been the 96th birthday of sitar legend Pandit Ravi Shankar, who died in 2012.
Ravi Shankar, as Google says in its explainer, led the way in the use of Indian instruments in Western music, introducing "the atmospheric hum" of the sitar to audiences worldwide. His greatest influence came through teaching George Harrison of the Beatles, whom he met in 1966, how to play the sitar.
The association catapulted Shankar to international fame.
Harrison played a sitar on Norwegian Wood in 1965 and in 1966, Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones used a sitar on "Paint It Black".
Shankar performed frequently with the violinist Yehudi Menuhin, and composed a concerto with sitar for the London Symphony Orchestra.
Shankar's music popularized the fundamentals of Indian music, including raga, a melodic form.
Raga, as Shankar explained, has "its own peculiar ascending and descending movement consisting of either a full seven-note octave, or a series of six or five notes in a rising or falling structure."
The distinctive character of Shankar's compositions attracted the attention of composer Philip Glass, with whom Shankar wrote the 1990 album Passages.
The centerpiece of today's Doodle, by artist Kevin Laughlin, is a sitar. It has two bridges, one for the "drone" strings and the other for the melody strings. Laughlin's design shows the style of sitar Shankar played, which includes a second gourd-shape resonator at the top of the instrument's neck.