Are questions about evaluating music and comparing generes on-topic here? Example:

What are the similarities between Baroque and Minimalist music?

This question will involve history to a great extent, but the focus of the site is on making music. This strikes me as a music-appreciation question, more suitable to a music listening site. (Coming soon...?)

Should these be on-topic here? If not, where can such a question be asked? (There's already one very good answer to the linked question.)

  • 2
    I believe the proposal explicitly said history questions were on topic.
    – Uticensis
    Apr 27 '11 at 14:03
  • But should it be? This question should have a home somewhere on the SE network, but is that home here? Apr 27 '11 at 14:05
  • 1
    History is on topic sure. And as such maybe this also is on topic. But is it even possible to answer? Sounds very subjective to me. Possibly there is some objective similarities in this case, but more often than not it won't be, I suspect (but what do I know?) Apr 27 '11 at 21:01

First, I have to disagree slightly that the site is solely about making music. While the title certainly covers making music, theory is explicitly on-topic -- and should be, because it can inform practice and performance. While not to the same degree, history also informs practice and performance. It can also influence composition, which is again on-topic.

I didn't like the particular question as asked, but I definitely think history is on-topic. Similar, less subjective questions could be great questions -- and I think Kyle Brandt's edit and answer began to make it as such. I have proposed another edit to it.

  • as the OP, of the question in question, I didn't intend for the question to be subjective; there are objective similarities (e.g. harmonic progression as I learned from the answer), and this is what I was looking for. I will change the question title. Apr 27 '11 at 18:58
  • 1
    @David I've upvoted the question, if I could remove my close vote I would.
    – user28
    Apr 27 '11 at 19:06
  • @David - That's much improved. (And we need people to ask test questions like this, so we can discuss them and decide what's on-topic.) Have upvoted. Apr 27 '11 at 21:41
  • No worries, our close votes will expire. (If this question were closed in this state, I'd vote to reopen.) Apr 27 '11 at 21:44

This answer applies more generally to the site as a whole rather than the specific question linked to in the OP:

Yes, the title does call out practice and performance, but those two topics are certainly not the only acceptable topics for the site. I like to think of it in terms of what you would find in a university music department. I think that gives us a good foundation to build on.


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