From the FAQ:

Topics include practice & performance, composition, technique, theory, and history

It seems to me that "Music Practise & Performance" suggests the scope of this site is narrower than it actually is (if the FAQ is to be believed). I think it might put people off asking theory and history questions.

Has anyone got suggestions for a better name? Or is the current one fine?

  • 6
    I was disappointed that, when Music Theory was merged into this proposal, the name wasn't changed. I'm a composer and theorist and the name of this stackexchange doesn't sound as relevant to me, even though the description does. May 5, 2011 at 14:14
  • 1
    meta.stackexchange.com/q/207404/192187. I think we need to revisit this topic. I really like the "Musicians" idea, and we should settle this as we near graduation.
    – Luke_0
    Nov 18, 2013 at 22:42
  • 1
    @JamesTauber If you're still around, I finally came up with a late entry that you may like!
    – NReilingh
    Mar 21, 2014 at 23:47
  • 1
    As per discussion in chat, we're refreshing this topic in the linked "duplicate".
    – NReilingh
    Sep 24, 2014 at 20:18

7 Answers 7



This is similar to using Music but (perhaps) makes a more "academic" impression.

I note that there are other SE sites named like this: Webmasters, Android Enthusiasts, Database Administrators and Writers.

  • 1
    I like it. Most musicologists and music historians consider themselves fundamentally musicians as well as academics and scholars. It's up to you to mentally add an adjective: professional, amateur, beginner, budding, undercover ... before the title.
    – ogerard
    May 1, 2011 at 8:40
  • I really hope it doesn't sound academic, because I think that would be sad. But personally I don't think it does. May 1, 2011 at 14:16
  • 5
    I like this. @LennartRegebro I think "academic" is meant to be a short form of "not for questions about your favorite band" not the traditional sense of the word academic; that's how I used it, anyways.
    – user28
    May 1, 2011 at 16:29
  • 1
    @Matthew: That's a very strange usage, but something that probably fits well with the general atmosphere of this site. Where's the rock'n roll? :-) May 1, 2011 at 19:01
  • 2
    Short and to the point. Musicians spend much of their time practicing so that they may perform, so I think it fully encompasses "musical practice and performance" without being such a mouthful and without sounding somewhat limiting in scope. May 4, 2011 at 15:39
  • 1
    I agree, this name most generically reflects the nature of this site without being too vague.
    – Noldorin
    May 6, 2011 at 12:37
  • 3
    OK! 15 to zero, When can it be done? :) May 7, 2011 at 11:25
  • Naming the community is what other Stack Exchange sites have done in the past, hence, I agree with this. Look how well "Super User(s), Programmers, Webmasters, Skeptics and Writers" have been doing! :) May 8, 2011 at 21:15
  • 3
    Not meaning to be contrarian, but as a non-performing composer with an interest in theory, I've always been reluctant to use the term "musician" of myself. To me "musicians" has more of performance bias (certainly more than it does an academic bias). May 20, 2011 at 4:35
  • 2
    @James I think anything that explicitly denoted theory would be more exclusive than "Musicians" is. I'm certainly a firm promoter of theory, and I'd happily press for a working definition of "musician" as including theoreticians.
    – user28
    May 29, 2011 at 2:18
  • 3
    I agree with @JamesTauber : "Musicians" for me sounds more like "someone practicing an instrument". I'd see something like "Musicians & Composers", which is longer than "Musicians" yet shorter than "Musical Practice & Performance". (NB : english is not my mother tongue, so maybe I'm missing something, just giving my two cents)
    – XGouchet
    Jul 2, 2013 at 14:44
  • Personally I have issues with both Musicians and Musicians & Composers, but then I have the same problem with Super User. It took me ages to realise I could post to Super User as the apps I was stuck on were often things I was a novice at. It would be the same here: I play the violin and am interested in music but I'm a software engineer not a musician.
    – dumbledad
    Feb 10, 2014 at 8:45
  • -1 for the reasons others have mentioned. I don't play an instrument, so I'm more of a composer than a musician. I prefer NReilingh's suggestion a lot more.
    – Kevin
    Jul 31, 2014 at 18:00

Music: Theory & Practice

(Or perhaps Theory & Practice alone? See below.)

I think it would be great to rekindle this site rename effort, and I truly think our DNA is in approaching music from a theoretical perspective--this is StackExchange after all, and education/learning relies on theory to be most effective whether you're a classical violinist or a bluegrass fiddler! I also want to try to address some of the issues we are continuing to experience as a community:

  • Severe expertise deficit, especially for a site that is as established as ours, and achingly close to the critical mass point for going live. This is always improving, but has a long way to go.
  • Underrepresentation of questions about theory and composition.
  • Continuing confusion from new visitors about "music appreciation"-style questions.

I believe my suggestion fulfills this and other criteria (for being a better name) for the following reasons:

  • It does not change our site scope one iota, just shifts around some words in the tag line.
  • "Theory & Practice" is a quite common term that is very easily understandable for what it means to be. "Practice" in this context is inclusive of performance, and "theory" handily fills the gap of everything else we are meant to cover in our scope.
  • "Theory & Practice," both by the nature of the colloquialism AND in simply including the word "theory," communicates a more academic atmosphere that I believe will help to address the three items I listed above.
  • "Music Theory" and "Music Practice" are both items in and of themselves, thus their combination handily satisfies the base criteria of StackExchange site names being "charming" or "cute." :-)

1. I feel a little bit silly for actually explaining a pun right there. :-P
2. I didn't know it when I thought of this, but Theory and Practice is actually the name of an academic music theory journal. So, I suppose that nicely supports my last two points, but hopefully wouldn't cause any legal issues! It's such a generic phrase, I'd be very surprised if someone could stake a claim to it.

  • 1
    Addendum: We can call our site chat "The Practice Room."
    – NReilingh
    Mar 28, 2014 at 2:26
  • What do you think about modifying this title to "Musicians: Theory & Practice"? I think it still flows well and also conveys who this site is intended for.
    – Luke_0
    Apr 28, 2014 at 13:56
  • 2
    @AmericanLuke That would disrupt the colloquialism references I was going for, so I don't agree that it flows as well. Musicians on its own would be okay (though I still like my idea better), but in my experience, trying to mash up two different design ideas as a compromise (i.e. "design by committee") tends to result in a worse outcome than either original option (in ANY discipline).
    – NReilingh
    May 1, 2014 at 16:47

While I appreciate the clarity of "Musicians", "Programmers" etc, I like how the "classic" SE sites are named by two relevant words, often starting with S:

  • Stack Overflow
  • Server Fault
  • Super User
  • Seasoned Advice (I love that one!)

I'd be happy to see this exchange named in the similar convention, for instance:

Suspended Chord

or anything along those lines.

Of course the first decision to make if we want a "Simple, descriptive name" or a "stylish" name. Stack Overflow is OK with a stylish name- would this site also do? Isn't it better to go for a simple name just to be more searchable?

I like the awesome factor of an "artistic" name (we are artists after all!), hence this suggestion- but I understand the benefits of a simple name.

  • 2
    I don't like this myself. The S is a pretty superficial thing, and except for Stack Overflow the other three all describe the site. Suspended Chord is a thing that might be talked about on the site, but it's not a site for or about suspended chords.
    – user28
    May 29, 2011 at 2:13
  • I agree with Matthew. Stack Overflow is an expression that goes deep into basic functions of a computer program, and though high level programming languages does not always visualize the use of stacks, it's still a basic concept which is well known to most programmers, and one of the things you need to understand goes on under the hood. "Suspended Chord" is a very specific thing in music that does not by far represent anything as important aspect in the musical world that it deserves to serve as title for the site. It feels like a pale attempt to copy the Stack Overflow name.
    – awe
    Aug 23, 2013 at 10:55
  • 1
    +1 The Suspended Chord might not be a good example, but I like your "Something less academic" idea!
    – Maen
    Apr 15, 2014 at 0:20


This will include both musicians and composers, and I think it describes the core topic of the site.


Having been a musician all my life I know what drives musicians - love of the art and improving their musicianship. When I saw this site yesterday (just joined) I immediately thought the site was terrific but the name wasn't much of a grabber. I'll throw my two cents in by suggesting Being A Better Musician.

I believe this name has the following advantages:

  • It appeals to working musicians and aspiring musicians alike in any musical field playing any instrument. Even for absolute beginners, I'm sure they would be dying to peek at it to learn and see what the issues are.
  • The name has "gravity" drawing in the audience with a curious and friendly invitation.
  • It justifies discussion topics in all areas of music - performance, technique, theory, hardware, instrumentation, composition, computer apps, and so on.
  • It implies everything that more mundane titles would imply, like Music, or Musicianship, or the original title, but it adds action to the title - the ultimate action for musicians.
  • It puts the most positive focus there is on the discussions.
  • It would lend itself well to consolidating other musical sites if that ever arises.

What's in a name? In the marketing world... everything!




Then when we see someone struggling with a problem elsewhere, we can refer them here by telling them to take it Dal Segno.

(But "Musicians" is also good. :)

  • 3
    How are people supposed to know that Dal Segno has to do with music? Apr 28, 2014 at 8:58
  • @Shevliaskovic It's an in joke. Musicians (should) know what dal segno means. Apr 28, 2014 at 19:20


the word "So" because it's part of the StackExchange site. And probably we can make it to somusical.com or something like that hopefully.

EDIT oops, looks like it's a mistake haha... SO stands for StackOverflow.. my bad!! But SoMusical is still good though :)

  • 8
    We could make it: MuSEcal? lol May 21, 2011 at 6:47
  • 1
    Or even MusiQAl, following ArQAde's lead XD
    – Hannele
    Aug 7, 2013 at 14:51

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