Today there was this user that suggested quite a few edits that added a tag.

I rejected them, because I don't see much point in such a tag, but some of them were approved anyway.

Do we use this kind of tags on this site?

Let's take two great composers for instance: I can see that the tag has only 3 questions and we don't even have a Bach tag.

That is the reason I rejected the suggested edit.

  • 2
    we have a j-s-bach tag.
    – Dom Mod
    Commented Nov 27, 2014 at 18:52

5 Answers 5


Tags should come into play as they are needed. Currently I can't see a good reason to have composer tags. This may change as we grow, but I think we would have to have many questions on a composition style that was specific to one composer.

Personally I think you were right to reject - let's see if anyone comments for the other side, and the mods can go with the community view.



There are a lot of composers. Even if we limit tags to composers who have at least 5 questions, we will probably be facing delicate decisions on naming conventions and tag duplicates.

I would take a wider approach and think in terms of definition of the site. On Music: practice and theory, should there really be a tag about each specific composer?

I'd rather have a [baroque] tag grouping baroque composers than [locatelli],[bach] and/or [tartini] tags.

disclaimer: I come from Stack Overflow, where such questions apply on huge volumes of questions. Maybe all this decisioning [sic] I'm afraid of is not relevant here.

However, I really think we should learn from other sites experiences. On this matter, having many too specific tags is not the way to go because it generates a lot of work from mods and the community to manage tag naming, editing, removal, synonymizing (something like that) etc.


There are currently 5 questions about Bartok. That would make a bigger tag than about 40% of the tags we currently have.

As such, I think we should go for composer tags, I think there's enough specific to a composer to justify it. I don't think they'll every be huge topics, but as Dom linked is a good example of it working well.

  • 2
    Agreed with this; if there are enough questions to form a useful category then having a tag for it is fine. I don't think we have much of a problem with excessive tags so no need to be overly cautious, but I wouldn't go making a composer tag for anyone that doesn't have sufficient questions. 5 seems like a decent enough limit, offhand, but I'd say the 3 that ended up tagged are the only ones that should be. Maybe also the one about the key signature, but not the Cubism one.
    – user28
    Commented Nov 28, 2014 at 1:19
  • 1
    @MatthewRead Would you support a tag called "questions_that_start_with_the_letter_w" if it had 1000 questions in it? I like this answer, but I feel it misses the reasoning behind any tag's existence.
    – user45266
    Commented Jan 7, 2019 at 2:18

Just a quick thought: Maybe the distinction lies in whether the composer is distinct enough to need a tag to alert people to the fact that one needs a specialized set of knowledge.

I mean, why would we want to mention that the question has to do with Bartok anyway? The only advantage would be if one wanted to attract people who know Bartok's music in a specialised way, and the existence of those people would mean Bartok requires a specialised knowledge. If not, there's no point tagging it with Bartok's name.

The whole point of tags is to alert viewers to specialised areas of knowledge. Why do we tag "how can I play this guitar chord" questions with guitar? So viewers know it's about guitar, and guitar chord construction is a specialised knowledge. But we wouldn't tag that same question with "Fender"; there's no specialised knowledge (in other words, we don't need to know the make and model of the guitar to answer). That's just not important to the question.

I think that a tag says to the viewer, "Hey, you need to know about this to answer effectively". There is no scenario where you need to know about Bartok specifically that is on-topic on this site; therefore I see no point in having it.

  • I partly like this idea (and upvoted), but it also feels deeply problematic as the determination of significance is so subjective. Commented Jan 1, 2019 at 20:37
  • @luserdroog I see your concern. Does my edit resolve that issue?
    – user45266
    Commented Jan 7, 2019 at 2:16
  • 1
    Yes, sadly I also wrote an answer but I didn't post it when I realized that my arguments supported a different conclusion. As a searching tool, I'd really like to have tags for composer. But I'm at a loss about how to organize it or manage the inherent problems. The crucial test for tags is: "Is it a 'meta-' tag" or can it stand alone on a question? And I think a composer tag could never stand alone. Commented Jan 7, 2019 at 20:14

No - it's not necessary and it's uneeded cluter as well. Yes, we should have separate tabs for separate types of music, but not for each composer.

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