20 October, 2020

When Orchids Smelt Gunkali

The East-West pollination continues in music. But 1967 was a watershed year incapable of an encore.

Yehudi Menuhin, Ravi Shankar
Photograph by Getty Images
When Orchids Smelt Gunkali

Golden Tunes

  • Yes, 1967 has been one of the greatest years for music. From The Beatles, The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, and The Moody Blues to hits like Bobbie Gentry’s Ode to Billie Joe, Arlo Guthrie’s Alice’s Restaurant and the swirl of Incense And Peppermints by Strawberry Alarm Clock, the year echoed the changing times of popular culture.


When we look back half a century, we have quite a few reasons to celebrate. The year 1967 strings historic events, where Indian music had a significant impact on Western music and culture. Western violinist Yehudi Menuhin’s collaborations with sitarist Ravi Shankar on West Meets East; George Harrison’s use of sitar and Indian musical forms on Within You Without You from the Beatles LP Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band; and Duke Ellington’s assimilation of Indian melody into his Far East Suite. Astonishingly, all three of these ground-breaking albums would win...



To read this piece, and more such stories in India's most exciting and exacting magazine, plus get access to our 25-year archives goldmine, please subscribe.

Latest Magazine

October 26, 2020

other articles from the issue

articles from the previous issue

Other magazine section