There are two questions about how to notate a piano broken chord in which each note is sustained with the fingers while the others are played.

I participated in the latter one, so posting here in the hope that someone more neutral will vote to close as duplicate one or the other. I'm a frequent voter and will follow your lead (whoever you are...).

  • I would argue that your first link is "canon": it's older and it has more answers. (But I won't close it just yet, because I'm curious if there are any spectacular reasons for viewing the other as canon.)
    – Richard Mod
    Aug 27, 2021 at 17:30
  • @Richard My bias toward my own answer to the newer question is that I think it's more complete. It includes the standard notation, the common alternatives, documentary examples from the literature, and explains the use of the pedal in combination with finger sustain.
    – Aaron
    Aug 27, 2021 at 17:38
  • Well I'm not sure it's practical at the moment, but wouldn't the best course be to close the duplicate question and then put the better answer on the older question? (Also, not sure how rigorous we are here about closing duplicates compared to the Lawful Neutrals over at English Language Usage SE) Aug 28, 2021 at 1:33
  • 1
    We don't have to choose the older one over the newer. Generally it makes sense to choose the most complete, or the one that will answer the most future questions.
    – Doktor Mayhem Mod
    Aug 29, 2021 at 17:12
  • 2
    If both questions and all answers fit together, then there's the alternative: merge both questions so there will be only 1 canonical question with answers from both questions.
    – Andrew T.
    Sep 4, 2021 at 19:53

1 Answer 1


While the wording in the interface for a closed-as-duplicate question is "This question already has answers here", my personal opinion is that it makes for an odd user experience to close an older question as a duplicate of a newer one. It also might tend to upset authors of the original question.

Of course there may still be genuinely good reasons to close the older question (e.g. to point to a newer one that is overwhelmingly better), but if they're both good and it's felt that one has to be closed as a dupe of the other, I'd lean towards closing the newer one. Whichever way we go, we'd perhaps want to make sure that the open question is prominently linked to the closed question.

Arguably, once two good sets of answers exist on two similar questions, that mess has already been made. The real value in choosing a 'canon' between them is that you have an obvious target for the next question that requires a similar answer, and ensure that one is closed quickly.

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