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    A new app promises to change the way we listen to classical music

    The newly-launched Saraga app is for those who understand or wish to learn the intricacies of Carnatic and Hindustani music. Boasting a library comprising 218 tracks from 21 main artistes (like Ajoy Chakrabarty and Sumithra Vasudev) across 42 concerts, it has ragas and taalas displayed on the screen, along with the composers’ names. Gopal Krishna Koduri, an IIT alumnus and one of the brains behind the app, explains, “When a novice Carnatic music lover like me listens to a recording, I have no clue what’s happening. I have tonnes of questions, like what are the different sections of the song and the names of the various improvisations.” The answers to these queries are offered on the screen as the song is played. Another unique feature that sets the app apart from the likes of the Saregama app, is their ‘Chakra’ visualisation. Srikumar Subramanian, one of the developers who comes from a lineage of veena players, explains that in Saraga, when you play a song, the timeline of the song is shown in the form of a circle rather than a straight line. This is most apt for classical songs as “their structure is more circular than linear”. The app, which is still in its nascent stage, has city-based artistes spreading the word and actively lending their support. While singer TM Krishna has been involved in its development, theatre artiste Akhila Ramnarayan has been promoting it on social media platforms because of its “phenomenal” potential to change how we consume classical music.
    Available for free on play.google.com

    —Simar Bhasin

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