Every week we have a question (or five) about accidentals. 9 out 10 times the answer is: "courtesy accidental". I can't blame the people who asked the question, because if they never heard the the term, so they didn't know what to search for.

When you ask a question, SE shows list of similar question. I wonder if there is a mechanism that would allow us to suggest anyone asking a question about accidentals a nicely written article (perhaps titles "Unnecessary accidentals") about courtesy accidentals? That would both save the time of the person searching for information, as well as free us from manually marking the question as duplicate.

  • 4
    I would say duplicate questions are one of the biggest problems we currently have and this is not the only type of question where we get a lot of duplicates of see music.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/3503/…. Unfortunately, I don't think there's a silver bullet to this problem, but being aware of it can help combat it and get the duplicates linked sooner.
    – Dom Mod
    Aug 10, 2020 at 4:21
  • "I would say duplicate questions are one of the biggest problems we currently have" - I thought duplicates was a good thing, as in the more questions point toward the same spot, the more likely that people will get pointed to that direction from so many duplicates existing. Edit: Duplicates from people who were not able to find the initial question when searching
    – Clockwork
    Aug 10, 2020 at 13:27
  • But does it work? I only recently became active on SE, and so far I witness a constant stream of questions about courtesy accidentals. Aug 10, 2020 at 15:12
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    @Clockwork we're not closing the duplicates in most cases and people are very much not finding them. That combination means that people are answering duplicate questions instead of closing as a duplicate and not necessarily making questions more findable to outside users. We've very much had at least one user leave due to the sheer amount of duplicate questions with few ways to find them.
    – Dom Mod
    Aug 10, 2020 at 15:30
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    It seems to me that a big part of this duplicate problem is the specialized terminology that musicians use. It's not always easy to find a question about "tremolo" when you don't even know that the word exists!
    – Richard
    Aug 12, 2020 at 4:14
  • @Dom There is a silver bullet, ish: canonical Q&A, plus a regex filter. (You can do the former right now. Ask the CMs about the latter; they might not still do those.)
    – wizzwizz4
    Aug 12, 2020 at 19:28
  • @wizzwizz4 we do have canonical questions and answers for this: music.stackexchange.com/questions/42935/…. The problem is always new users finding it and making titles more accessible. Is there an example of SE doing a regex filter for another type of question? I would not mind trying to make our own either.
    – Dom Mod
    Aug 12, 2020 at 19:38
  • @Dom is the link you provide the canonical question you mention? How do I know it's canonical? Actually it's marked [duplicate] which suggests otherwise. Can we make it more visible? Would upvoting the question help, for example? Aug 12, 2020 at 19:56
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    There are several question that could be considered canonical. This one I think is a bit better than the duplicate link, but there are a lot of them. Voting has no bearing on how visable it is. We just need to make sure we close all duplicates to the one. If we need to reassess what is duplicate and what is canonical, we can do that and we can even do things like merging questions/answers if needed (but that's only in very extreme cases).
    – Dom Mod
    Aug 12, 2020 at 20:05
  • Another FAQ candidate: how to read multi-voice score, in particular on piano (where everything is multi-voice). Two questions just today. Many in the past weeks. Yet I have no idea how to even find these old answers easily. Dec 7, 2020 at 20:52


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