This question does not appear subjective and argumentative to me.

Its merely subjective, but I don't see any point about which to argue.

  • 2
    Take a look at the Good Subjective, Bad Subjective blog post which lays down some guidelines for the SE network
    – 8128
    May 1 '11 at 7:19
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    thanks for creating this meta-thread. It is better to go on about this question on meta than filling comments after comments. Can you try to make the title more informative about what was the subject of the original question we are discussing (contemporary composers)? It will be better when you look at the meta question list.
    – ogerard
    May 1 '11 at 8:45

I think the requirement of the question, a source for which contemporary composers are innovative and which are not, is by it's nature both subjective and argumentative, as any such list would not only be subjective, but create fierce flame-wars. Hence, it is "impossible to objectively answer this question; questions of this type are too open ended and usually lead to confrontation and argument".

If the question had asked for a source of new contemporary composers, and each person themselves had to then decide if the composer was innovative or not after listening to them, then the question would have been fine. But by requiring that you judge which composers are innovative or not, the question becomes impossible and should therefore be closed.

  • Thank you for explaining this in-depth, I've linked to your answer on the parent question with a short summary. May 8 '11 at 21:22

The question asks not for which composers are or are not innovating, but rather which composers are considered by the contemporary art composition community to be innovating. Answers should not be an opinion, rather facts about a specific group's opinion. Thus, it is objective. It meets none of the guidelines for a great subjective question not because it is a poor subjective question, but because it is not a subjective question at all.

  • 1
    So you think that if a question is asking for evidence about subjective opinions held by a group of people, it is not subjective in the Stack Exchange sense? I thought the idea was that subjectivity could be viral, tainting the original question in many cases, as well as provoking never-ending arguments about the meaning of the words used in the question or the opinions and motivations of the asker.
    – ogerard
    May 2 '11 at 15:51
  • @ogerard: Yes, the question boils down to "what does X think about Y"? That has a single, objective, factual answer. "X thinks Z." An answer stating just "Z" (which WOULD be subjective) would be completely inappropriate (unless the poster happened to be X).
    – andyvn22
    May 2 '11 at 17:23
  • I highly doubt the contemporary art composition community (which is a subjective defined group) has a fixed list of their opinions that all members agree on. Any answer would be too localized, as well (new composers come along, some die or retire or stop innovating, whatever; the list would quickly be out of date).
    – user28
    May 3 '11 at 13:16
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    I think andyvn22 is technically right about the spirit of his question. However, it did specifically ask for "reliable" sources. Defining if something is reliable is technically subjective, but then again so is 98% of what we do in music. I also don't feel it is bad subjective. I don't think it's the best question in the world and asks for a challenging answer, but I feel that given the answers (all very mature and none argumentative) it can be seen that this question is not "argumentative"
    – SRiss
    May 9 '11 at 19:46

Define "innovative".

It's easy to see that the definition is subjective, especially in regards to music composition. There will be no right answer to the the question (Real Questions Have Answers). There will only be debate. What one person sees as an innovative application of Baroque tonalities in a theme others may see as a limitation of musical expression.

The question was closed correctly.


Subjective means open to different opinions. Differing opinions disagree. I don't see the problem.


The opinions solicited are not opinions based on supportable experience, but flat out, plain, vanilla, opinions. Thus, it is prime flame-bait.

Now, as a would-be community in beta, it seems to me that we have the option here of experimenting a bit. If someone posts a question like this, and it gets three or for sober answers and no emo extravaganza comment soap-operas, then we could keep it and others like it. If it turns into a tomato throwing contest of fanbois arguing about the relative innovativeness of their favorites, then it needs to be terminated ex poste haste, and any more like it likewise.

In other words, it's not 'what has helped you learn to play the sackbut', but rather, to overstate the case, 'are republicans or democrats better?'

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