I need help. I searched online for stack exchange site on music and this was the first result.

When I got here it appeared that the site was specifically about music theory and practice. I was disappointed. I expected to be able to do is ask questions about all areas of music, including meaning of lyrics, vocalists in certain songs and so on.

Has there been any discussion on including the full gamut of the field of music? The full range if you will? Can we scale the site up? I feel like that would be the natural progression? I hope my tone comes across in harmoniously. On that note... (sorry I'm done) :P

Can I ask questions about the meaning of the lyrics in songs?

~~~ UPDATE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The site I would like would answer these sort of questions:
• What are the lyrics to song XYZ?
• What other bands was artist John Singsalot in?
• What is artist Angel Songwriter working on now?
• Why did artist Dave Teamplayer go solo?
• What bands sound like Nervana?
• Is the band Sonny Day Realestate going on tour this year?
• What type of bass does the bass player on Prime Us play?
• How did Keri Musicheart get started?
• What is the song Flat Tire by The Pickup Trucks about?
• What are all the instruments Henry Wiseman has been reported to play?
• Why are the chorus lyrics in Kelly Swanson's song in French and what do they mean?
• What is Jungle music?
• How do I get started in music?
• Who is the vocalist Gabriel Robin?
• Where can I buy the new Mice Meese album (just released in your country but not yet in mine)?
• Did the Nine Inch Tails play with the Prodigies when in England?
• Who invented the guitar?
• When did Baytoven become deaf?
• What festivals celebrate female metal singers?

It's about finding out the lyrics to music, the meaning behind the lyrics or song (even instrumentals), origin of a song, how someone got started, what an artist is working on, what bands an artist was in, what bands sound like bands you like, what is a certain style of music (and links to examples), how to get started in music, where to buy hard to find music, history of music and so on.

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    All are either off-topic here or not constructive except "What is jungle music?", "Who invented the guitar", and "When did Beethoven become deaf?". History of music is on-topic. – American Luke Oct 7 '12 at 18:55
  • I wish there was a site that answered these type of questions. – 1.21 gigawatts Oct 7 '12 at 20:14
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    You just missed it – American Luke Oct 7 '12 at 20:27
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    Most of those are too localized -- unlikely to help a future visitor. – Monica Cellio Oct 9 '12 at 17:05

We aim to be the Stack Exchange for musicians, about music. The problem with lyric analysis is that it falls more under the realm of language and/or poetry than it does music. Setting lyrics or even writing lyrics falls under music composition, but the meaning of lyrics doesn't have anything to do with music unless you try REALLY REALLY hard.

Vocalist/song identification is a bit trickier, but it's still a meta-musical question that doesn't fit well with the SE model to boot. That is to say, the relevance of the question is not limited to all musicians, and questions like that are often extremely localized and not worth very much to the community.

There was in fact a "Music Fans" SE in Commitment phase on Area51.SE up until a few hours ago when it was closed after two years without enough traction for a beta launch. That intended to cover some meta-musical questions like what you're asking about.

One of our other moderators Matthew Read has an excellent post on the difference between the proposed Music Fans site and our existing music.SE in area51 discussion.

The subdomain of this website does not determine its content--the site definition back on area51, and now, the FAQ and subsequent community discussion here on meta does. As Matthew notes in the post linked above, the purpose of excluding listeners alone is to make sure the pool of expertise accurately mirrors the questions intended for the site. The site launched based on definitions of musical practice and performance at its core. "Music Appreciation" did not gain enough traction to launch. At present, I do not believe there is enough reason to extend our scope to include that topic. I want this site to get off the ground with a formal launch as much as anybody, but I think if we simply expand the scope to gain volume, we will lose on quality, both in terms of the community on the whole, and the questions and answers themselves.

Note that when I say "Stack Exchange for musicians, about music", I don't intend to imply that you are not one! It's simply a reminder that if you look at us through the lens of that particular subset of your skills, the limitations on the site's scope might make more sense.

I would actually be very interested if you could provide specific examples of questions that you think should be within our scope--the ones you suggested in your other post were too vague for me to digest properly. If we have something more concrete and specific, we can better analyze if it's a good match for a site on the SE network--keeping in mind that some questions just aren't a good match for the SE model, and some topics just don't have enough of an internet user base to launch an SE site!

  • I'm also a musician and I understand the dynamics between lyrics and songs. Don't you see how it all goes together? I understand your points and value settings limits but at the same time you exclude the same listeners you are writing music for. Is it worth it? I am really disappointed to have my questions labeled "not relevant" to music on the official music site with no alternative place to ask questions. – 1.21 gigawatts Oct 6 '12 at 4:10
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    @1.21gigawatts This isn't a site for trying to gain listeners for any songs we might write, so I'm not clear on the downsides for us. Can you elaborate? – user28 Oct 6 '12 at 17:08
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    @1.21gigawatts There are two types of "music" people: those who listen, and those who make music. This site is for the latter. We're not excluding anybody, just questions that don't fit inside that scope and are not useful to the community. – American Luke Oct 6 '12 at 19:24

From your question, and your comments on @NReilingh's answer:

Your questions aren't 'not relevant' to music. Just not relevant to the specific scope we have on this site. This scope was defined by the community, and while it may change over time, it is the community that decides what should be on topic here.

If you want something specific which is offtopic, you can propose scope changes here in meta, and those will get up- or down-voted by the community. If enough upvotes, the community can tweak the scope, however you aren't going to get a sudden dramatic change.

The only other alternative is to go and find a site or forum where your questions will be on topic - there are many, so you should find one no problem. They just fill a different space to us.


I would like to ask a related question but I'm still trying to learn where the appropriate place for a followup question is. To ask it as a new question would be somewhat redundant. To add it as a comment is not really a question. To add it as an answer is not really answering. (Although the best answers in life are often just better question - another long discussion that I'll avoid!) Ok that said...

I have previously voiced my support in Meta for the scope as it currently stands and why it makes music.se unique as-is

I love this community in part because their is no limit in scope as regards genre, bringing me into contact with folks that don't happen to make the same music as I. But, since there are no clear deliberations on this site as regards genre, it does bring in one little hiccup regarding lyrics. Lyrics are a greatly important performance-related issue for classical artists who make their art by recreating composer's songs. This also falls over into other genres, known there as singing covers. Focusing for a moment just on classical music, where specific musical performance choices hinge on key insights from text interpretation, what are we to make of questions in that domain here, and how do we keep the scope clear and consistent as the site attracts more members?

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    You should absolutely write this up as another question on Meta - if necessary, you can provide a link to this question, and it will be displayed in the Linked Questions section on the right. – Hannele Apr 11 '13 at 16:42

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