Music

On Ragya, an Indian Classical music streaming app, songs follow the sun

Sunrise, afternoon, late evenings... here’s an app that plays the apt raga for the time of day

Enthusiasts of Indian Classical music will know that every raga is designed to be played at a certain time of the day (prahar). There are your early morning ragas like Bhairav, your late afternoon ones like Bhimpalasi, and your night ones like Bihag.

Now what if you had a music player, that could identify the time and play ragas by veteran Hindustani music exponents in the background, as you go about your day? This was the initial concept behind Ragya, a nascent music streaming app launched by Mumbai-based Aditya Dipankar.

Ragya is dedicated to Indian Classical music, and is as of now full of Hindustani music. “We launched the current version of this app last year, and the idea of providing music according to the time of the day proved really popular. It gives listeners a curated experience,” says Aditya. The track works in tandem with the clean interface and muted backgrounds that sets the mood for the day.

The app features artistes such as Bhimsen Joshi, Satyasheel Deshpande, Sanjoy Bandopadhyay, Anuradha Kuber and Anupama Bhagwat. “We reached out to artistes who provided us with exclusive songs, some from private baithaks,” he says.

Apart from that, he has also reached out to lesser-known artistes. “Most existing platforms chase established artistes, but there is no other platform apart from Youtube and Facebook for these yet new talents to be discovered.”

On Ragya, an Indian Classical music streaming app, songs follow the sun

Aditya’s background in Classical music made the curation process a bit easier. He has played the tabla for 12 years as a child, gotten training in Hindustani vocals, and is partial to nirguni music. It was in 2014, while he was training and looking for a Hindustani music streaming app, that he conceived the idea of Ragya.

“We couldn’t find an app, so we thought we might as well make one for ourselves. The first version of Ragya was actually just a YouTube playlist,” he says, explaining how they created an algorithm to play from a YouTube playlist that they curated and filled with ragas based on the time of the day.

In its current format, the app is more like a radio, with limited browsing options. However, Aditya adds that they are currently working on the next version which will make the listening experience more customised. “With feedback from listeners, we will next include options to browse by selecting not just time of the day, but the artist, instrument, gharana, raaga, and also moods such as to help you calm down, or concentrate, or put you to sleep and so on. This should be done in the next three months,” he says.

By deepening their niche in Indian Classical Music, they hope to stand apart from the many music streaming apps in the market. “We are not worried about competing with them because what we are creating is tailored for Indian Classical music. The others may have libraries and collections for this, but they have not built anything on top of that database, whereas we are trying to provide a listening experience,” says Aditya, adding that they also hope to move into Carnatic music in the near future.

Ragya is available for download on Playstore and Apple Music.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 11:28:25 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/music/on-ragya-an-indian-classical-music-streaming-app-songs-follow-the-sun/article30841928.ece

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