(For the general tag, see the question Usage of the [genre] tag.)

For which questions do we want to use specific genre tags?

Example tags: , , , , , , , , , , ….

Obviously for questions about the genre itself, right?

Anything else? For example, questions about a specific musician that happens to make music that belongs to the genre, or questions about a specific work (e.g., a song’s meaning) that belongs to this genre?

(Background, and possibly food for this discussion: I tried to remove the tag from this question about a specific work.)

  • 1
    Is there a reason to remove the jazz tag from the question? The op even describes the musician as a " Jazz musician" and his wiki page describes him as a Jazz musician so I don't really see a problem with how the tag is being used as people how are intrested in Jazz can search questions about jazz and the musicians who make it.
    – Dom Mod
    Apr 9, 2015 at 23:51
  • 1
    @Dom: My reason for this edit was that the question is not about jazz. I don’t think it would be useful to add genre tags just because the artist or track in question belongs to this genre, unless it’s about (an aspect of) this genre. (For this particular question, the jazz tag might be warranted if it were clear that the work refers to another jazz artist, contrary to possibly any other musician or mabye no-one at all, but as far as I understand it, that’s not clear.)
    – unor
    Apr 10, 2015 at 0:04
  • 1
    Wouldn't you consider questions about the people who make a certain genre of music and there music to be about that genre in some way? This question literally references a jazz song written by a jazz musician who references a person who was musically important to him so I don't really don't see why the jazz tag wouldn't apply.
    – Dom Mod
    Apr 10, 2015 at 0:31
  • 1
    @Dom: No, I don’t consider such questions to be about the genre, unless, well, they are explicitly about an aspect of this genre. -- Another example is this question about the meaning of a song’s title which had the electronics tag (which I removed): the musicians belong to this genre, the song in question belongs to this genre, but it’s not about this genre. -- Anyway, I can see that the other way’s possible to, hence this discussion: we should be consistent and choose one way.
    – unor
    Apr 10, 2015 at 1:30

3 Answers 3


Since it was my edit that prompted this, let me explain why I kept the Jazz tag in.

Tags are used to filter questions into smaller segments, so that experts or knowledgeable people of a particular tag might find those questions easier. These people are the target market of that tag. That's why tags exist; they are keywords just like you might use in a google search.

By putting the Jazz tag on a Jazz musician, you're inviting Jazz experts to look at your question. And Jazz experts are the guys who are going to know about the more obscure musicians in Jazz.

To me, every question about music or musicians should contain a genre (, , , etc...) tag. It just makes sense to capture as much of the question's audience as possible with one small word. Questions about song's meanings do not, because the genre is inconsequential.

  • 1
    Downvoter - Please explain what you disagree with? Apr 13, 2015 at 16:26

I am substantially in agreement with Johnny Bones. Many listeners are focused on one or a few kinds of music, and applying specific-genre-tags to questions help those listeners find them. An analogy might be with programming languages on StackOverflow -- I don't know anything about C#, but having 'python' as one of my favorite tags clues me in to discussions about something that is relevant to me, whether it's about finding questions for me to answer or finding questions that I didn't know I had but from which I learn something.

The existence of should be enough to account for most of what unor is arguing for in their answer.


I think it boils down to which use case we want to support:

  • {1} Find all questions that are about the genre itself,
    about specific musicians that create works that belong to this genre,
    and about specific works that belong to this genre.

  • {2} Find all questions that are about the genre itself,
    about how specific musicians shape this genre with their works,
    and about how specific works shape or play with the genre.

{1} would be much broader than {2}, of course.

Both might be valid use cases, and both have their pros and cons, but I think we should decide which way to follow, to be consistent.

In my opinion, we should us a genre tag only for questions that are about (an aspect of) this genre, i.e., use case {2}.

Adding a genre tag just because the musicians and/or their works belong to this genre is not helpful:

  • Makes it harder to find the "core" questions (that are about the genre), as you have to browse through all the questions where you wouldn’t learn a thing about the genre, that have this tag just because the artist is (also) known to make music of this genre, or just because the work belongs to the genre although neither the question nor the answer cover any aspect of the genre.

  • Genres are often subjective, people disagree if or if not something belongs to certain genres.

  • Many musicians create music in many different genres. Question about such musicians (about the persons, not their works) would need many tags, but we can only have 5.

  • … and having to add just because the question is about … oh well ;)

  • 2
    Exactly! Afterall, the tags describe what the question is about and not the thing that the question is about (i.e. the song, band, whatever). {1} can only lead to a mess, then you could as well classify songs and bands by their active decades or whatever you can classify songs and bands by, but this wouldn't actually say anything about the question.
    – Major Tom
    Apr 10, 2015 at 14:02

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