It came up on chat by @Dom. I came up here for just asking you guys your opinions, is it good idea or not.

I was thinking recently about a community wiki we could have. I was thinking we could do a Glossary of Chords similar to the Glossary of Guitar Effects except limit it to one post. In it we can include the intervals needed to make the chord, common notation of the chord, sample spelling (probably with C as a root), and other basic information about them. Thoughts on the idea?

And, by the way, you should come to our chat site, make it crowded, so we can hang out there, having fun, talking about music, asking about anything, or trolling each other (well, that's not recommended).

So, what's your opinions about that (the glossary of chords, not the chat)? Is it good enough to be our community wiki or not?

  • 1
    That seems like an awfully large amount of information. While SE has wiki-like aspects, it's not a wiki. I don't think we're well-suited to hosting that information at all.
    – user28
    Jun 19, 2014 at 18:14
  • @MatthewRead It's really not a lot of information especially if done right since most chords (if not all) stem from basic triads which there are only a few and extensions (9th chords and above) are just adding a few notes to a dominant 7th.
    – Dom Mod
    Jun 19, 2014 at 19:09
  • I agree with Matthew, plus I’m not even a fan of the Glossary of Guitar Effects, which has very uneven answers and is missing some obvious things like the wah-wah pedal. That's a deliberately curated CW post and it isn't even that great. Jun 19, 2014 at 23:20
  • @BraddSzonye It has a wah-wat pedal in it. The biggest problem with it is nobody oversaw it and it became a mess. If we plan it out I'm sure we could actually do good CWs for this site.
    – Dom Mod
    Jun 19, 2014 at 23:50
  • @Dom That's the thing, that question was planned out and curated and still became a mess. SE doesn't really have the tools or incentives needed to make CW work. Jun 19, 2014 at 23:52
  • @BraddSzonye Give me a day and I can fix it. CWs can work. We just need the community to cultivate them. stackoverflow.com/questions/1253683/…
    – Dom Mod
    Jun 20, 2014 at 0:39
  • @Dom That link appears to be another unsuccessful CW, locked with significant criticism in the comments. I don't think promoting one of SE's less successful features is a good way to promote Music.SE. Jun 20, 2014 at 1:12
  • @BraddSzonye It was posted in 2009 and was updated as recently as April 29th of this year. 2 people call it unsuccessful in the comments. The rest complement it on how up to date it is. It is locked to prevent more answers because it only needs one answer. If we do it right it should be a good community driven source of knowledge for the site which is suppose to be a community driven source of knowledge. I really don't see why you dislike them so much.
    – Dom Mod
    Jun 20, 2014 at 1:32
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    @Dom My apologies, the mobile interface didn't show why that post was locked or that it's still possible (and encouraged) to edit, so I thought the locking was moderator response to the criticisms. I still object to CW in general though, as we simply don't have the kind of organizational tools here needed to support it. Good wikis need significant support for proper maintenance, indexing, internal linking, etc. that SE just doesn't provide. Jun 21, 2014 at 2:13

1 Answer 1


I like the idea of a "chords-wiki". I'm sure quite a few questions come in about this (I've already seen quite a few…)

We would just need to be quite careful about this; although chord definitions often seem quite clear cut, they do legitimately vary. For instance, I have seen equally valid explanations for using "add2" and "add9" for the same type of chord. Also, "classical" and pop/rock/jazz nomenclature needs to be both equally well explained and represented, and there would need to be clear mappings between different types of notation.

There are sometimes "levels of explanation" associated with describing chords and harmony. A simple explanation may sum up 95% of how a set of pitches work, but subtleties may require more complex explanation (What description do chords have within a key? Which notes can be left out of jazz chords? How would I show this chord in other types of notation?)

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