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I find the site very 'engaging'. The interplay of answers and comments (not to mention meta comments) is fascinating.

I'm trying my best to participate in a responsible manner. I realize that I'm not going to get many points until I've learned my way around better.

With that in mind, I'm finding it difficult to be responsible when I'm told my tags are inappropriate. (I just posted a question regarding 'tonal center' and 'guide tone'. The only tag I could use ended up being 'tone')

Why don't you permit all questioners to tag questions as they see fit and allow the moderator and other more advanced users to modify tags [possibly even employing the comment system!]?

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    Think of tags as "search categories" rather than "descriptive terms" and that might help. This search shows all the open questions that mention "tonal center" and most of them aren't specifically about it, so the tag would be applied to a very small number of questions -- making it a bad category and a bad tag. – user28 Jun 18 '16 at 2:18
  • Why don't you permit all questioners to tag questions as they see fit and allow the moderator and other more advanced users to modify tags [possibly even employing the comment system!]? I thought that was exactly how it worked? I know when I ask a question I can tag as I see fit and as a high rep user I have edited many tags on many questions. By "tag as you see fit" do you mean, "create new tags"? Creating new tags should be rarely done and only for good reason. – Todd Wilcox Jun 20 '16 at 17:35
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It gets messy fast especially since how new users think tagging should go doesn't always line up with how the site views tagging. For example, instead of using the and I replaced it with the and as the guide tone is a jazz topic and you are asking about the diffrence between the two terms. While you do talk about tones and it is in the context of tonality, that's not what the question is about. Most if not all tags should have a tag excerpt that tells you when you should use a tag. You'll be able to create tags when you reach 300 rep and by then you should be able to understand when new tags should be created.

Another thing to note is once a tag is introduce, unless it is removed quickly it is hard to remove a tag as when it gets a wiki or when it applied to many questions, the tag can only be removed per request to community manager.

To get an idea of how tags are used on this site and generally on this site, see the following resources:

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  • Just an enquiry to the second paragraph regarding difficulty in removing tag: AFAIK, tag wiki doesn't affect tag removal/burnination. The only thing to remove the tag from being used by low rep users is to just remove them away from all questions. Also, everyone can burninate the tag, no need CM's intervention at all (though it's easier for them to do it). – Andrew T. Jun 18 '16 at 16:27
  • @AndrewT. a tag with a wiki cannot be removed by normal means only a mod or CM can do it and burned tags can only be done by CMs. A burned tag cannot be created again it's not just removed. – Dom Jun 18 '16 at 16:50
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Why don't you permit all questioners to tag questions as they see fit

This is true up to a point. Any questioner can tag the question however they feel is the correct way. But if you are a new user (or have <300 rep points), you have to choose (up to five) of the existing tags.

Rarely is the case where some tag that is needed in the question doesn't exist.

But even if you wanted to create such a tag and don't have the rep, you can mention it (on your question or a comment) and some user who can will create it for you.

I'm finding it difficult to be responsible when I'm told my tags are inappropriate

Don't worry about mistagging. Even if you don't really know how to tag correctly and/or don't know what specific tag to use in a question of yours, people can edit your question and tag it with the appropriate tags. You don't lose points or anything by mistagging.

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The tag framework Stack Exchange uses has been developed over time with millions of users working with it.

Once you have earned the reputation required, you will be able to propose new tags, but until then you need to work with the tags we have.

As an aside, tonal centre may not be a useful tag - it's got to make sense from a search engine perspective.

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