Selecting bars vertically in Sibelius caused a problem that seemed to stem from jocular padding of an answer, while Is there a term in Western music theory for the underlying mood of a music genre? got closed as 'opinion-based'.

Does this point to an issue in dealing with questions where the answer is basically just 'no'? Are there guidelines elsewhere on SE?

3 Answers 3


Whether or not an answer is simply yes or no, there should be some kind of explanation of why or or why not something is and if something is not possible an alternative should be proposed. Yes or no alone is not enough which is one of the reasons why an answer needs to be over a certain length to submit. A good answer can only be a sentence or two as seen here which very concise, but gives a complete answer unlike a simple yes or no. The FAQ on how to answer puts it nicely:

Read the question carefully. What, specifically, is the question asking for? Make sure your answer provides that – or a viable alternative. The answer can be “don’t do that”, but it should also include “try this instead”. Any answer that gets the asker going in the right direction is helpful, but do try to mention any limitations, assumptions or simplifications in your answer. Brevity is acceptable, but fuller explanations are better.

For the specifics the first OP used their filler to call out the system for doing what it is suppose to do which was inappropriate for an answer so it was deleted to edit and fix up so it was more acceptable then undeleted once it was fixed then the OP redeleted it as shown here which the OP has a right to, but the current version is acceptable in nature.

For the second question a few people including myself interpreted a lot based the overall idea of it on the second paraphrase which is completely subjective as seen here:

For instance, flamenco (the genre I specialize in) has strong melancholy undertones. Even the "happiest" forms (or "palos") of flamenco seem tinged with sadness. In other words, a "happy" flamenco piece will still sound more melancholy than a "sad" gipsy jazz piece, for example.

After rereading closely, while the content is subjective in nature the answer is not so I reopened it and put the comment I had addressing it as an answer. We all make mistakes.


How should we deal with questions where the answer is just 'no'?

Answer with no and an explanation. What's wrong with that?

For the first question you mentioned, it seems like it was not possible to select vertically, like OP wanted. So, the answer should be 'No, you cannot do that', simple as that. Laurence's answer seems to answer that just fine, I don't know why it was deleted.

Maybe you are confused with a question that can be answered with a 'no' and a low quality question. The first question is not low quality; it's a legit question that happened to have an one word answer.

  • 1
    For Laurence's answer see music.stackexchange.com/posts/41928/revisions pretty much the first revision was more of a meta comment then answer so it was deleted until cleaned up which then he deleted.
    – Dom Mod
    Feb 16, 2016 at 18:41
  • @Dom I see, I didn't notice that Feb 16, 2016 at 19:35
  • I'm not at all saying that closed questions to which the answer is 'no' are bad questions; quite the opposite, I was saying that these questions seemed reasonable but (through nobody's fault) didn't turn out so well. Feb 16, 2016 at 23:14
  • Altogether too much "dealing with" peoples replies goes on in this forum. It seems netiquette is valued more highly than useful answers. Feb 18, 2016 at 1:48
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    @LaurencePayne We're not a forum we're a question and answer site and the ""netiquett" is to keep it that way and keep us from being something like Yahoo answers. More often then not on this site we let things slide that on other SEs would not fly.
    – Dom Mod
    Feb 18, 2016 at 10:41
  • My impression is that a large proportion of traffic here is mere niggling over whether a post should be categorised as a Comment or an Answer. We're all going to read the whole thread anyway, does it really matter? And it's academically inexcusable to edit someone's contribution destructively. Add a comment or explaination if you feel it you must (but make sure you've really read and understood it first!). But leave the original intact. It's incredibly arrogant to change an answer (from someone who might even be more expert than you!) to what you think he OUGHT to have said. Feb 18, 2016 at 14:57
  • @LaurencePayne it wasn't destructive in nature and you still can fix it and undelete it yourself. It was deleted because most of it was a stab at the system for not letting you just put no. I was going to let it stay deleted until you fixed it, but after talking to another community member I tired to fix it for you instead. I'm sorry if seemed to be destructive, but that was never the intent the only intent was to purge the irrelevant part of the answer and beef it up enough to get past the minimum character requirement.
    – Dom Mod
    Feb 18, 2016 at 18:50
  • @LaurencePayne also comments on the main site not designed to be permanent and are routinely removed unless they add something to the question or answer which most don't. Most can either be edited into a question or answer form a new answer which is why the system is designed that way. Also for that reason there is no rep associated with comments nor ability to disagree with.
    – Dom Mod
    Feb 18, 2016 at 18:55

Yes, the system needs to allow a short answer. Such is sometimes appropriate and sufficient. But you do not get to edit my reply, changing its meaning. My name was under that answer. And I have something of a reputation in the Sibelius community (a real reputation, not "reputation points") for knowing what I'm talking about and giving clear, concise advice. Sibelius does not use the term "tool". Perhaps you were thinking of Finale?

  • Laurence, while you may not like it, the system we have here is Stack Exchange, and it does not allow for an answer of, "No." Shevliaskovic's answer is correct: no with and explanation as to why is much more useful, especially for those who are trying to learn. SE is also entirely collaborative, so edits to improve posts are welcomed. Dom's edit improved your post without changing the meaning.
    – Doktor Mayhem Mod
    Feb 18, 2016 at 21:35
  • If you are upset that reputation here is not important compared to elsewhere, then that is fine. Just don't let that make you act impolitely here. Remember, you don't have to take part here, but if you do, you stick to the house rules, ok..
    – Doktor Mayhem Mod
    Feb 18, 2016 at 21:37
  • Isn't this where the "house rules" may be questioned and maybe modified? Feb 19, 2016 at 10:59
  • @LaurencePayne yes; maybe you should create a new thread and state your opinion there, so that people can reply and discuss the matter Feb 19, 2016 at 11:55

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