(This question shows up on every SE meta site sooner or later, but the system won’t let it be deleted now that it has a constructive answer.)

Why is someone downvoting my answers without commenting? I am a devoted musician with helpful hints, time tested and taught successfully. Some of my techniques are shortcuts, admittedly, but they can help a learning player break through a barrier or two.

Uncommented negative votes (some have been reversed by now, perhaps after I had to figure out without help how to reword answers) undermine the well-intentioned content of an answer. Why can't these be conversed?

I am not here to scoop up points, but I sincerely want to share the benefit of what I’ve been taught, of what I’ve learned, and what I’ve stumbled across. Please let my answers settle at 0 votes. If you go negative, please leave a constructive comment. I am also here to learn.

  • 5
    I'm in the same position as you in terms of being a devoted musician with a lot of knowledge and many uncommented downvotes. All I've done differently is review anything I've written that has been downvoted and either edit it or ignore the downvotes, and I've kept doing that and now here I am with a respectable amount of rep. They are just votes. Nothing more. May 23, 2017 at 4:04
  • 2
    @musicn it only does harm if you take it personally or if it is misused. Voting up and down is very important on SE sites and I would argue misplaced upvote does way more harm than a misplaced down vote and no one ever questions up votes they receive. If you don't receive a comment, take a step back reread the question and how your answer applies to it.
    – Dom Mod
    May 23, 2017 at 4:44
  • I wish I had differentiated between an uncommented downvote that dilutes upvotes – well received – and an uncommented downvote that results in a negative faceplate – a cheap shot. I'm trying to rewrite everything in terms of that difference. Currently in the works: "I believe that a well-intentioned answer with uncommented negativity diminishes this site's credibility." @Dom?
    – lauir
    May 28, 2017 at 22:41
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    @musicn don't associate downvotes with negativity. They are very different. When used correctly they are very positive in nature in keeping the quality of the site at its highest potential . I'm not saying they cannot be used for the wrong reasons, but so can up votes. There can be a lot of reasons not to comment after voting one way or another one which is fear of retaliation from other users so please let's not persecute every down vote.
    – Dom Mod
    May 29, 2017 at 0:25
  • 2
    If one of my answers has a down vote I do like Todd and control my answer. Very often I find an error or a typo, sometimes even a mistake in my thinking, and if not I try to emphasize my statement somehow. Sep 24, 2019 at 8:28

3 Answers 3


The whole point of Stack Exchange is to vote for the post NOT the author. You may be a devoted musician, but that doesn't mean your posts are going to be right for everyone, or appropriate to that particular scenario.

If someone disagrees with a point, or dislikes it, or in fact just wants to downvote it, they can.

Conversely, if someone likes a post or just wants to give you an upvote they can. But guidance is definitely not to give upvotes just because someone asks for them!

We deliberately do not enforce commenting though. Votes are anonymous for a purpose.

As Richard pointed out, you have only had 2 downvotes. That is so low as to be almost irrelevant. Just don't worry about it. Over time, votes will reflect the value of a post.


My most-downvoted answer is how do I compute midi stop time - a topic that I know a fair bit about. I've written more than one piece of MIDI software.

My most-upvoted answer is What do 'vent holes' do on a music stand? - a random guess at a topic I know nothing about.

Voting on this site can be pretty random. Don't worry about it!

  • 1
    My guess on this is that the down-voters on the MIDI question does not understand much about the subject, and didn't feel they learned anything from your answer, because it was a bit verbose.
    – awe
    May 29, 2017 at 11:11
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    On the music stand question, it is a topic that a lot of people can grasp the context of, and you made some good assuptions that seems to be logic to a lot of people - thus the high number of up-votes..
    – awe
    May 29, 2017 at 11:13
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    I could get angry when an answer is down-voted for which I have investigated a lot researching and a lot of time, also written and explained a whole article while a I am upvoted for a simple answer to a simple question about something elementary that everyone should know. In the first case I don't worry and say to me: At least I have learnt a lot. In the second case I'll write it as a comment and give a chance to others to answer. What I've learnt most especially by downvotes is to read better the question and try to understand what OP is asking. The problem I have in my daily life: Listen! Sep 24, 2019 at 8:38

As far as I can tell, you've only received two downvotes: one in Is there any scientific reason why three notes are seen as required to create an 'unambiguous' harmony? (which was mediated by an upvote), and one in Trumpet - Trouble with high notes?

That's two downvotes from 11 questions, with a net vote count of +27 for your 11 answers, which is actually pretty good for our community.

Don't beat yourself up; we're glad you're here!

(PS: I loved your answer at Why are time signatures not used in this score? and I couldn't believe I didn't spot this myself!)

  • Thank you for scanning the log, Richard. I should've included links in the question. Never too late (but not the time at the moment).
    – lauir
    May 22, 2017 at 19:40

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