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MIT-based Venture IndianRaga Announces The Release Of RagaQuest App

Press Release

IndianRaga – www.indianraga.in – which uses digital media technology to raise the global profile of Indian music and its musicians, has announced the launch of its first app, RagaQuest, by August 15, 2013. Available on  iOS platform, RagaQuest is the first-ever application to make Raga identification easy and fun!

Raga identification in Indian classical music concerts can be an exciting experience that adds an element of fun, suspense and gratification to the listener. Some aficionados have a natural flair for identifying Ragas, while others pick it up over time and with practice, and RagaQuest seeks to address both these groups and engage them in a social, collaborative experience of listening, sharing and learning. Users can download RagaQuest for free, and start listening to 30-second tracks of Carnatic and Hindustani Classical compositions to identify Ragas through a fun, hangman-style game-play. There are different levels of difficulty that the user can pick from, and options for upgrades through simple in-app purchases.

RagaQuest is the first of a series of apps being conceptualized and created by IndianRaga, an MIT-based venture, seeking to infuse technology and innovation in Indian music. “RagaQuest was born out of my own personal struggle as I sat in concerts and marveled at how those around me could instantly identify Ragas. I wished I had an easier way to practice or develop the skill and thought why not build an app that makes it simple and fun”, says Sriram Emani, co-founder of IndianRaga and an MBA student at MIT Sloan. “The tracks are categorized based on difficulty levels, so it is easy to practice if you are a beginner, and we plan to introduce educational modules on Raga identification in future upgrades. ”, he adds.

Initial feedback from leading musicians, teachers and students has been very positive.

“We commend your efforts in using technology to promote a classical art form and all the more it is tough to work on Indian classical melody system or the Raga System. To make it interesting to youngsters, this mobile app would be very useful and is a great step towards motivating the Next Gen towards Indian Classical music.” said KN Shashikiran and P.Ganesh, famously called Carnatica Brothers who hop around the world for most part of the year, performing concerts, lecture demonstrations, conducting workshops and  teaching students around the world!
Tara Anand, one of the the leading Carnatic music teachers in USA and Founder of the Anubhava School of Music said, "As a teacher I am always looking for opportunities to motivate my students to engage with classical music outside of class. In an increasingly digital world where time is short for everyone and environmental immersion is non existent, RagaQuest is a great way to introduce new ragas to students through a medium that they are familiar with. I can envision my students encountering nuances in classical music through this app that inspires their curiosity, makes them feel more involved and makes the guru-shishya interaction that much more productive. Using technology to help students proactively engage with content and thus absorb it better, is aligned with the general trends in education today, and I am delighted to see such an innovation from IndianRaga.".

"A much awaited app in the classical music world! I appreciate how it caters to many levels of musicians - enthusiasts, theory geeks, composers, and people who simply want to stay in touch with what they learnt through their Guru. Guessing the Raga is something I play with tunes all around me, so a mobile app for this would be exciting!”, adds Anuja Hariharan, Doctoral Student Karlsruhe University,Germany and a dedicated student of carnatic music.

In the near future, IndianRaga also plans to offer an option for musicians to submit 30-second tracks to be considered for inclusion in RagaQuest. A carefully chosen expert panel will review the submissions and include the best ones along with details of the artist and links to his/her profile page, which could be a great opportunity for upcoming musicians to gain visibility. IndianRaga also plans to include features wherein users can try to identify the singers, the instruments, or the composer. “RagaQuest will be a mini-ecosystem with educational tools for students and enthusiasts of Indian classical music to provide opportunities to explore and experience elements that may not easily be available in a regular concert or training session”, says Janani Viswanathan from the IndianRaga team.

“A very welcoming initiative by IndianRaga. Something that would reach the teachers, students and rasikas of Carnatic and Hindustani music. A definite recommendation for all my students to kindle interest and make learning fun”, says Malini Vishwanath, Founder Raag-n-Rhythm, Kuwait.

IndianRaga is the winner of the 2012 MIT IDEAS Global Challenge Community Choice Award and the 2012 US Creative Business Cup award. For more information on RagaQuest and IndianRaga, please contact info@indianraga.in.
For further information, contact:Janani Viswanathan, RagaQuest Media Relations, IndianRaga, (401) 651-8488, Jananiviswanathan09@gmail.com  or Sriram Emani, Co-Founder, IndianRaga, (617) 849-3752, sriram@indianraga.in.                                                                                                                                                      

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