I was delighted to see that a stackexchange site devoted to music exists, and I looked forward to finding answers to questions such as:

`I have heard recordings of Beethoven's C sharp minor string quartet where, in bar 53 the third crotchet of the first violin part is played as E flat, and at least one recording where it is played as E natural. Are there different editions of the score that would account for this? Is there any consensus as to which was Beethoven's true intention?'

`Which of the great composers are known to have had absolute pitch? Or indeed: which are known not to have had absolute pitch? I would be interested to see evidence for any answers from biographies, testimonies of contemporaries and the like.'

I would also be interested in questions of aesthetics, philosophy and music education.

However looking at the questions on the front page and the (common) tags, I'm not at all sure that such questions would be on-topic here. So:

Are questions along these lines on-topic? If so, what would be a suitable tag? If not, is there a site that the music.stackexchange.com community would recommend?

1 Answer 1



YES- these are exactly the sort of questions we welcome here.

If you look at the guidance on the help pages, you can see answerable questions are good, whether they are based on bodies of work, specific training or recommended practices; but opinions, list based answers, and questions which are just too broad don't work on Stack Exchange.

Best guidance I can give:

  • Read the help pages
  • Ask questions
  • If your questions get closed, learn from the comments. It doesn't take long
  • 2
    And don't take closure personally. See it as an opportunity to learn.
    – Luke_0
    Oct 8, 2013 at 0:39
  • 1
    I'd think that question was absolutely not opinion based; sounds like he wants proper references (original score, common versions by contemporaries, etc.). Which version is "best" is an opinion; which version did Beethoven actually write is not (though I can imagine it being answered as if it was). Just make it clear that you're looking for historical evidence and everything should be okay I'd think.
    – user5952
    Oct 8, 2013 at 0:41
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    There is probably room for a whole meta post from me on this topic, but I would really love to see us embrace academic consensus for a lot of these things we are normally quick to dismiss as opinion/subjective. Scholars spend years studying Beethoven's life and music just so they can come up with accurate answers to that question (and publish papers to that effect). Similarly, some repertoire is just standard repertoire for a given instrument, either for pedagogy or performance, thus questions to that point are completely answerable.
    – NReilingh
    Oct 8, 2013 at 0:50
  • Ah, yes - I think I understand when you word it like that Sam. I wasn't reading it that way. I'll update my answer.
    – Doktor Mayhem Mod
    Oct 8, 2013 at 8:41
  • Great! Thanks for your answer and comments. Oct 9, 2013 at 7:49

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