Our Help Center indicates that "business" questions are off-topic for MP&T:

Music: Practice & Theory Stack Exchange is for musicians, students, and enthusiasts. If you have a question about ... and it is not about ... business or legal issues.... (What topics can I ask about here?)

We're generally pretty strict about legal issues, but what are the "business" boundaries?

This comes up in the context of How could I get my Classical Music Compositions published and known?. IMO, this is a "safe" business question, as it bears directly on the process of music. A question like "how should I bill my music students?" I would consider clearly off-topic, since it doesn't bear on the actual practice of music.

The question in question is clearly a "business" question, so by the strictest interpretation it is off topic. But it seems like the type of question we want (or, at least, that I want). And if it is off-topic, that strict interpretation would seem to affect a very, very wide swath of exiting questions here.

How strictly to we want to interpret "business" questions as off topic, and what are some guidelines for deciding?

(Regarding the linked question: although it might be off-topic for other reasons, here I'm specifically interested in whether it's off topic because it touches on business.)


In Are questions about touring off topic? there was (in 2014) clear agreement that touring (i.e., business) questions are on topic as long as they relate closely enough to the music side of things.

Are any 'career advice / what to study, type of questions' on-topic, and if so, what? also clearly implies that certain business questions can be on topic.

1 Answer 1


For consistency and simplicity, just making them off topic should be the way to go

Unless we want a detailed list of dos and don'ts for this topic, I think it makes more sense to just keep our blanket policy and keep things away from that. Music business tends to be off topic because the business side has little to do with music itself. Even if there are concepts related to music directly they tend to be more subjective than our typical questions. The example given of publishing and getting music known besides having many ways to do it could attract spam and promotion we don't typically tolerate.

To give another example I know we closed in the past a person was asking how to become a famous musician and nothing in the post was about music, just their image and becoming famous. Without good guidance, we'd get questions like this claiming to be an on topic question when it clearly has problems.

I will point out the typical approach on both other cited metas points things like this out that it's easier to say music business is off topic than to discet each question to figure out if it's too subjective or actually about music. Touring can be on topic, but how to plan your route is not nor is finding an app for it. Career paths/requires can be asked objectively, but any advice about them is way too broad and opinionated. Saying music business is off topic helps get to that cleaner in my opinion without needing to go over a bunch of policies.

I will say I see no problem using concepts like this as a springboard for chat, but unless we are really clear with what we are looking for or not the current policy makes the most sense.

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