To the untrained enthusiast, Indian classical music can be daunting. Some can’t tell Raag Bhairav from Raag Bhairavi, others can’t tell any ragas at all. Even music students find it challenging to identify complex ragas.
Now, a mobile application launched on Independence Day aims to make raga identification much easier. The app, called Raga Quest, uses a hangmanstyle game to help users guess the name of the raga being played in a 30-second sound clip.
It has been created by Indian Raga, a Boston-based company launched in November 2012 to promote Indian classical music through digital technology. The app is available on the iOS AppStore and can be downloaded for free.
“Identifying ragas is not something that comes naturally to everyone, but one can get better at it with practice,” said Sriram Emani, 27, co-founder of Indian Raga and an MBA student at Boston’s Massachusettes Institute of Technology. “The app will be a simpler, fun way to practice raga identification.”
With a user-friendly interface, Raga Quest can be used for both Hindustani and Carnatic music. Users can pick from a range of difficulty levels, and during the hangman game, can use a raga spelling guide to guess the raga.