Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur)

Sangam Music app to instil heritage


- Vanita Srivastava vanita.srivastava@htlive.com

NEWDELHI: Two weeks ago, a new app, Sangam Music, made an appearance on the App store and the Playstore. Featuring devotional songs and classical compositio­ns by musicians such as the late M S Subbulaksh­mi, the late Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, the late Gangubhai Hangal, and several contempora­ry stalwarts, the app isn’t the brainchild of a record company.

Sangam Music is an initiative of t he Ministry of Culture, through the National Cultural Audiovisua­l Archives of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, an autonomous body under the ministry.

The app has not been officially launched yet. It is still undergoing testing for feature enhancemen­ts and user interface refinement­s.

The idea, according to Irfan Zuberi , Proj e c t Manager, NCAA, is to make people, especially young people, familiar with the diverse classical and folk music heritage of the country. In the pilot phase of NCAA, the world’s first ISO 16363:2012 certified Trustworth­y Digital Repository, over 30,000 hours of unpublishe­d, non commercial audio and video recordings representi­ng the cultural diversity of India were put in the public Pandit Bhimsen Joshi Pandit Jasraj

Dr. M. S. Subbulaksh­mi Pandit Rajan-sajan Mishra Shri Prahlad Singh Tipaniya Shri Bhuvanesh Komkali More than 2500 tracks in 24 languages

350 artistes

Streaming audio domain through the website, http://ncaa.gov.in

Then, a few weeks ago, came the app. “At present, there are more than 2500 tracks in the app but by the end of March we plan to increase it to 4500. Sangam already features nearly 350 artists and content in 24 languages, covering a diverse range of classical and folk music genres from across India. We have unique Vedic content as well, featuring chants of all the four Vedas. But more than that, what is important is that all the content on the app is non-commercial, and hitherto unpublishe­d, which adds uniqueness to these tracks. All t r acks are available i n Hd(high definition) quality playback as 320kbps MP3S,” adds Zuberi.

The proposal for the app was floated by the team of the NCAA in February last year.

Content selection and editing of content commenced in October 2018 and the app has already been made available through both Android and IOS platforms.

The app is being refined; the technology is being created and managed by Tech Mahindra Ltd. This is just the first step, says Zuberi. Over the next five years, NCAA hopes to “digitize and make accessible over 300000 hours of audiovisua­l content”.

“Users can stream and listen to the rarest and the most significan­t devotional tracks for free using Sangam. While in the initial stage,we have only devotional and instrument­al music, we will soon broaden it to include more classical and folk music ,” says Pratapanan­d Jha, Director, Cultural Informatic­s at IGNCA.

There are more than 2500 tracks in the app now, by March end we plan to increase it to 4500 IRFAN ZUBERI, Project manager, NCAA

 ?? HT FILE ?? Pandit Bhimsen Joshi
HT FILE Pandit Bhimsen Joshi

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