Since the announcement that Music SE would be graduating, the discussion of whether to change this site's name came up quick. Folks have lots of thoughts on what the name should be changed to. What's missing is the case for why we need a new name.

What is broken that will be fixed as a result of a name change?

I'm happy to go to bat on your behalf in favor of a new name, but before I can do that, I need to gather a compelling argument on what problems it will solve.


4 Answers 4


I think maybe the wider SE stance on this issue has changed somewhat between when we entered beta and now. Back when we were starting out, the "what's our awesome/clever/catchy site name going to be?" meta topic was practically one of the "essential questions of every beta", giving rise to sites like Ask Different, Cross Validated, Seasoned Advice, Arqade, etc. I think many of us have simply been expecting (for the past three years :-) that graduation would come with a more appropriate site name.

Of course, that's all incidental. I think the real reasoning is along the lines of "the current site name is okay, but it could be better." We want a site name that:

  • Makes its members feel like they belong here
  • Effectively communicates what we have to offer
  • Attracts more of the people for whom this site exists

Some of the issues with MP&P are:

  • The name excludes a large portion of our question base around theory, history, composition, musicology, improvisation, etc.
  • It's kind of a difficult name -- it's long, this particular contextualization of "practice" is hard to understand for the uninitiated, and overall it takes more time to parse out than many first-time posters are willing to put in. While it's technically sound (aside from the lacking bits noted above), I don't think it effectively communicates with our entire audience -- particularly those with questions more suited to a different site like musicfans.se (and we're pulling for them for that reason!)

And some of what we have to gain are:

  • A deeper sense of ownership and community with having chosen our own name, or at least have a name chosen that fits the community rather than the other way around.
  • Hopefully a bigger draw to the more academically inclined what with the presence of "theory" in the title of the proposed new name.
  • 1
    Thanks! What I'm hearing is that while there isn't anything being tangibly damaged by the current name, a new one would just feel a lot better to the community. If you have any ways of illustrating how this has been actively detrimental, that would be very helpful, but if not, I'll work with what we've got. As you noted we have moved away from unique, catchy site names and instead expect the short and descriptive beta names to exist throughout the site's lifecycle.
    – Ana
    Oct 10, 2014 at 20:17
  • 7
    I'd say the omission of theory has been somewhat detrimental -- I've seen proposals on A51 for Music Theory (now defunct) because they didn't feel they belonged on this site.
    – NReilingh
    Oct 11, 2014 at 2:12
  • 4
    @Ana If it were possible to measure people who were turned away from our site due to the name, we'd do it. All we have is what people say about it, and the other posts about naming have had several mentions of the current name being alienating to the poster. This whole exercise feels to me like a way of claiming our concerns were considered while the plan has always been to keep the current name. If the name was important to keep fixed, or inexplicably hard to change, that wasn't made clear when the site was started. If this much effort was put into the original name it also wasn't clear.
    – user28
    Oct 12, 2014 at 17:38
  • 3
    I don't remember what discussion went into choosing the site name at our outset, but it may well have just been whoever submitted the A51 proposal. I would be happy also to entertain suggestions from SE -- perhaps working this into the site design process -- should they care to offer any. To Matt's point, it does seem like no one's able to make the case for MP&P in the first place, beyond it just being "traditional" at this point.
    – NReilingh
    Oct 13, 2014 at 1:56
  • 3
    We're happy to make this change with a small modification. Have a look at my answer on the recent site rename poll.
    – Ana
    Oct 14, 2014 at 21:59

We're so vain

It's because we're all trying to be rock-stars, here. And image is vitally crucially important. It needs to be awesome. It should slide off the tongue and want to do it again. Its meaning should echo in the inner ear.

The sound-byte, the "meme" is encoded in the title. So, there should be nuance and finesse galore. Brimming with symbolism, bursting with sanctity.


Questions pertaining to professional performing musicians such as touring, contracts, copyright and royalties, record labels, negotiations and hiring/firing band members appear to be absent or discouraged. So I'd prefer Music: Theory & Practice.


Music:Theory and Practical may be a little more succinct. The term practice often evokes the idea of shutting oneself in a room and practising. I know it's the act of doing what one does, as in a practising doctor, lawyer, et al, but wonder if others see it that way.

The site also seems to be attracting more and more technical driven questions, daws, etc., which I feel need to be migrated somewhere else, as maybe this site is not the best place to have them answered.

  • 2
    Why should the DAW qustions be migrated, and to where? Just ignore them if they aren't interesting to you. Oct 14, 2014 at 8:19
  • I'm unaware as to whether there is a more appropriate site that deals with the computer side of music.
    – Tim
    Oct 14, 2014 at 13:41

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .