Not Closed:


On Hold:

Books to learn how to play songs on Casio keyboard

The second one certainly needs an improvement in the title - but if you read the question, and comments, it seems to be basically "my friend wants to play Hindi music on the electronic keyboard".

Why have they been treated so differently?

  • 2
    Asking for lists of resources is off-topic Also the linked question is from the start of the site and a lot has changed since then...
    – Dom Mod
    Commented Apr 21, 2015 at 18:05
  • 1
    @Dom music.stackexchange.com/questions/31846/… is from today, and music.stackexchange.com/questions/31797/… from yesterday - Both 2 upvotes, no close votes. Commented Apr 21, 2015 at 18:10
  • 1
    Then shouldn't the question you're asking be the opposite (as they are currently off-topic defined by the FAQ)? If you want the site to reevaluate it's stance on requesting a list of resources then address that rather then trying to say "This question is closed, but this on isn't" which is never a good argument.
    – Dom Mod
    Commented Apr 21, 2015 at 18:35
  • 1
    @Dom I am not putting forward a view on whether or not such questions should be on topic. The issue is consistency. Commented Apr 21, 2015 at 18:40
  • 1
    Not every question is reviewed by every person, and that one is nearly 4 years old. If something is off-topic, do your part and vote to close. Users failing to do so causes such inconsistency.
    – user28
    Commented Apr 21, 2015 at 19:02
  • 1
    @MatthewRead Two others are mentioned in the comments. "Not every question is reviewed by every person" doesn't explain three close votes for the one that is on hold, and none for either of those. Commented Apr 21, 2015 at 19:22
  • 1
    @MatthewRead and I would rather do my part by talking to new users rather than simply close-voting. Commented Apr 21, 2015 at 19:29
  • There's nothing from stopping you from explaining why something is off-topic to a new user. Every close reason links to the help center which links to the on-topic/off-topic section. If the question is off-topic, a duplicate, opinion based, ect. it should not be kept open just because a user is "new" (which is why all closed questions link to the help center to explain why the question was closes in more detail).
    – Dom Mod
    Commented Apr 21, 2015 at 19:46
  • @Dom I would like to, it's just that in this case I myself would like clarification on what seems a difference between the "de facto" and "de jure" application of the rule. Commented Apr 21, 2015 at 20:05

2 Answers 2


I have asked a similar question here on meta:

were, a mod (Dr. Mayhem) answered:

[...] software recs are on topic, but that some can be, if the question is written well. I think book recommendations should be treated similarly to software recommendations.

[...] but as there is this uncertainty[...]

From what I remember, there have been some well written questions that were allowed, because they simply weren't of the format

suggest me some books for X!

but, they included research etc.

But, generally, these kind of questions get closed, because every user has something different to suggest; thus it is opinion based; thus off topic.

The Chat is a good place to discuss these things.


I know the following answer is not going to be popular, but let me vent out for a moment how I feel.

According to the usual page, the site is for:

  • practice & performance technique;
  • music theory, notation, history, or composition;
  • technical analysis of a specific, complete work, or well defined section thereof;
  • instrument maintenance; usage of specific music software or hardware

Music stuff, in brief.

Now, I feel that "yo my friend does not know music but wants to play songs on his Casio, suggest a book" is not music stuff.

IMHO, it gets off topic exactly at word 8: "but".

"But" as in, "my friend does not know music and does not want to learn music but...".

"But", not "and", as in "I am a 40-something, I do not know music and I want to start learning, how do I weed out the bad teachers from the good?".

Same for "I do not know music but I want to play at a wedding", "I do not know music but I want to learn some songs on the piano", and all that.

I mean, okay, fine, good for you, if you can manage it you might go on TV as "the guy who can sight-play Ravel and does not know music" but the whole premise makes the question less than worthless, IMHO.

Not only I don't think they can add anything to the site (because you can't answer that seriously except with "Wanna play Fur Elise? Good, start taking lessons, see you in 5 years") but also because they are off topic, non-musical in their nature.

I think those are a prime candidate for closure, much, much more than "I am a classical player and I want to learn jazz, where do I start" even if technically training a chimpanzee to play piano would qualify as "practice and performance technique".

There, I said it.

  • The actual wording on the question is "he does not have any experience in music. what are some of the books he can refer to get started?"... Commented Apr 21, 2015 at 23:18
  • @topomorto: get started to play popular hindi songs, that is. I really feel this is just another clone of "I don't know music, how do I play the song from the BMW commercial on the piano". Also, I think the obvious answer is "get a teacher, duh" - the same as all of those other questions, which would ideally be marked as a duplicate. I think it all boils down to exactly two questions: "Q1: How do I learn music?" "A1: Take lessons." "Q2: I don't know music, how do I play the Titanic song on the piano?" "A2: Learn music. See Q1." Commented Apr 21, 2015 at 23:28
  • You're right that it's a very basic 'how do I get started' - type question. But I'm wondering if, if that's seen as a legitimate close reason, we should explicitly say so (and ideally point askers of such questions to a relevant community wiki?) Commented Apr 22, 2015 at 6:49
  • IMHO, very much yes. Commented Apr 22, 2015 at 9:38

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