What's the scope of this SE site?

Is this for questions about bands? Music genres? Can people ask for lists (on most SE sites, these kinds of questions are discouraged)?

In short; what are we doing here?


5 Answers 5


The proposal defined the site as:

A beta Q&A site for music historians, critics, and fans.

As for now the scope includes anything a music critic, music historian or music fan would ask. The proposed questions give an idea about what questions would work on this site, but the scope is still shaping up and not completely defined yet.

That's one of our jobs during the private beta to further define the scope before letting it out to in the "wild". As questions come in we'll see what works for our site and what doesn't. At this stage anyone can vote to close or vote to reopen a question. By the end of the week there should be a much more defined scope for the site.

If you see a problem, make a question on the meta and we can talk about it more in depth.

  • I don't really think this is a useful answer. "anything a...music fan would ask" means...*literally anything about music* (other than, I guess, "I hate music; why do some people like it?"). Apr 3, 2015 at 16:53
  • @KyleStrand this was asked on the first day of private beta. We have a much better understanding about what to ask now.
    – Dom Mod
    Apr 3, 2015 at 17:00

We build a repository of high quality Q&As related to questions professional and enthusiast Music Fans would ask, in order to make the Internet a better place, which is approximately the goal of Stack Exchange.

... Right?


A few off the cuff thoughts...

Yes to

  • Music history questions
  • Musicological questions
  • listening equipment and technology questions
  • reasonably objective questions about the music industry
  • Specific general interest questions about artists and records

No to

  • Music: Practice & Theory is set to graduate but is still in Beta, so no migrations there for now. Further, at the moment specific analysis is still off-topic for the moment since that Meta discussion as not been resolved -- it looks to be gravitating towards "allow with criteria" but the criteria have not been set. Finally, I would expect very few if any questions from here to meet said criteria. Migration should be an exception, not a rule. Feb 24, 2015 at 20:10
  • Sure. My main point is that I don't think that analysis questions should be on-topic here - and just wanted to point out that there's some hope for them on MP&T.
    – user16
    Feb 24, 2015 at 20:38
  • Thanks for giving specific yes/no lists. Apr 3, 2015 at 16:52
  • @KyleStrand this was only one answer to one question but hopefully between this thread and the others we are starting to get an idea what this site should be about. It's for us to decide so if there's anything you're not sure about feel free to start a new thread asking/suggesting something.
    – user16
    Apr 3, 2015 at 19:04

One thing that's almost universally disallowed in other stacks is recommendation questions - "I like early Bowie, what other artists might I like?" type stuff, or "can you recommend good music for the gym", which are hard to keep focused away from vague opinions.

How do we feel, however, about focused recommendation questions? "I like the beat of Iggy Pop's The Passenger. What other songs have a similar to that structure?". Is that something that can be sustainable, or will that degenerate into opinion-matches as well?

  • 1
    My gut says that anything that has either a definitive or evidentiary answer is ok. (Personally, this is why I turn the Stack Exchanges vs. Yahoo! Answers or other services.) I'd be hesitant with anything recommendation based for the reason you mentioned. I'd not be opposed necessarily to "What other songs have a similar structure/key/etc" type questions, but they lend themselves very easily to "bad" (poorly/incompletely/un-researched/un-explained) answers.
    – Lin
    Feb 24, 2015 at 18:36
  • I think this should be a separate meta post Feb 24, 2015 at 18:41
  • @ZachSaucier Done. meta.musicfans.stackexchange.com/questions/13/… Feb 24, 2015 at 18:53
  • I think asking for music recommendations is very interesting, though it should not be a topic of the MusicFans Q&A, but our chat room. Here we can freely exchange our favourite bands and songs with everybody who wants to join without any restrictions (except of "Be nice!"). Feb 24, 2015 at 22:22

Other SE sites that I'm a member of have a criteria that there should be some sign of effort being made and of research before the question is asked. (I mainly use techy/nerdy computing based SE sites).

Does that same criteria apply on here?

The reason I ask is that I've noticed quite a few questions that could be answered by simply using Google (other search engines are available).

There are also answers being posted that are largely just cut and paste from other websites, mainly Wikipedia.

It looks like a simple question is asked, someone reads it, Googles it, and pastes the answer. I don't think this contributes to the high quality Q&A site described in Unihedro's answer above.

  • 3
    Answers quoting Wikipedia, even comprised mostly of Wikipedia quotes, don't necessarily indicate poor research. Often someone just knows the answer, but will turn to Wikipedia, the readily available citation resource, for external sources for the answer. Just bringing a Wikipedia answer isn't enough to mark a bad answer, because you have to know what to look for on Wikipedia. Feb 25, 2015 at 19:40
  • 1
    I was meaning questions that can easily be answered by anybody with an internet connection. For example, is there any real difference between this musicfans.stackexchange.com/questions/122/… and this google.co.uk/… ? Don't get me wrong, it's a good question - but is it really what Stack Exchange sites are about?
    – Carl H
    Feb 25, 2015 at 20:09
  • 1
    Agree with Carl here. I can't see how easily searched for answers to simple questions add to the "high quality Q&A" of SE. Mar 4, 2015 at 19:58

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