After reviewing some of the meta discussion about what analysis questions are on-topic it seems clear the real issue is about transcription. Questions/requests for transcription or requiring transcription are off-topic.

So why isn't the word transcription actually used in pages like: https://music.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic https://music.stackexchange.com/help/dont-ask

Something like:

  • "don't ask questions which require transcription by ear."
  • "questions about analysis from a score or lead sheet are welcome."

It would make the guideline much easier to follow.

1 Answer 1


It's there between the lines in the on-topic page between these two bullet points:

  • identifying a song, style/genre, instrument/equipment, technique, chord progression, etc.

  • identifying notes/chords/meters in your favourite song

It's not the clearest, but it is there. After a review of the history of the on-topic page it was there until we made analysis on topic. It's a good point that transcription should be mentioned by name, so I've slightly tweaked what we have in the second bullet point to:

  • transcription of specific works including identifying notes/chords/meters in your favourite song
  • We don't have control over the don't ask page it is an SE standard as you can see it the exact same on other sites. It's just talking about the general SE policy across all SE sites. It's pretty flexible how it's applied from site to site and the on-topic section is much more important.

    This was not the first time this discussion was brought up. Ever since analysis was allowed it's been pointed out we don't do transcription.

    • Thanks for changing the on-topic page. I didn't know the "don't ask" page was un-editable. Feb 4, 2016 at 21:53

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