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Music site, for both fans and musicians

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Update 30-12-2020: launched


Intial proposal taking inspiration from MusicFans.SE and Music.SE.

The idea for the site is a place for music fans, composers, and artists to gather to discuss music. As a starting point for topics:

  • Technique: guidance on practicing or performing music
  • Music theory: notation, history, and composition
  • Analysis: Of a specific work, whether in its entirety or a specific piece (section, phrase, verse, chord progression, etc.)
  • Instrument maintenance: Tips on maintaining or repairing instruments, resources to locate professionals who can help, etc.
  • History: Of musical movements, genres, instruments, specific performers, etc.
  • Terminology: Terms for musical ideas or terms used in the music industry; what is meant by [term], or what term describes X; what genre does [this song] fall under
  • Technology: Help with music software or devices; recommendation for music software which does X
  • ID: What is the name of this [song/band]? What is the name of the musical instrument playing in [this song] at [timestamp]?
  • Purchases: Where can I buy [sufficiently detailed music-related item]?

Points to consider:

  • Is this list complete? Are there any other types of questions you'd like to see in such a site? Are there any types of questions above which you think are not a good fit for this type of site?
  • How musically-related must a question be? Should we allow questions about lyrics (and if so, English-only or other languages as well)? Music videos?
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9 comments

FTR: I sing and play 8 instruments at various skill levels; my main instrument is piano, which I've been playing for almost literally my entire life. I compose my own music and write arrangements of songs as well. As the president of my college's music club, a position which involves arranging both my own music as well as others', coordinating practice sessions, and performing for my school. Needless to say, music is a large part of my life, and I'd be very active on a site like this. DonielF‭ 8 months ago

Consider making song/band identification questions a category of its own, since I suspect such questions will take up a significant amount of the site content otherwise. Lundin‭ 8 months ago

@Lundin Maybe? If and when this gets off the ground that’s certainly something to consider, and we can always play it by ear (pun absolutely intended). DonielF‭ 8 months ago

We know from SE experience that all sites that include some manner of identification service get lots of such traffic from casual/first time users who don't always post good quality questions. A separate category would filter out all such posts from stealing all the attention and distract those who are there for lower traffic topics. Lundin‭ 8 months ago

Agreed, Lundin. I'd like to see at least three or four different sites. For instance, perhaps, "Music Fan Q&A", "Musical Instruments", "Music Theory and Application Thereof". There may be more just as helpful. J.E.B. of Ponderworthy‭ 5 months ago

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4 answers

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Is this list complete? Are there any other types of questions you'd like to see in such a site?

How musically-related must a question be? Should we allow questions about lyrics (and if so, English-only or other languages as well)?

Something I'm missing on the Internet is a reliable site where you can ask about the meaning of song lyrics. And get a high quality, trustworthy answer. There are several such sites out there, but the quality of the answers is often very low and never backed with sources.

It's kind of hard to argue about lyrics not being part of music, so maybe add a category for it? I think it should welcome questions about lyrics in any language, but the question itself must be written in English.

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12 comments

For analysis of lyrics, I think that it would be better suited for Writing (the closely related poetry is explicitly allowed, and there's a lyrics tag there as well). For rhythm/meter/rhyme, I'm kind of torn - I feel like it'd fit on both sites (since it's both musically oriented and songwriting oriented). For non-English, I'm also torn on whether we should allow it, but if it not purely a translation request then it should be fine. Moshi‭ 5 months ago

@Moshi I don't think such questions belong on Writing at all, except maybe if the question is about writing lyrics yourself. A separate category for a music site sounds like the best fit to me, if we are to welcome such questions. Lundin‭ 5 months ago

@Lundin "I don't think such questions belong on Writing at all, except maybe if the question is about writing lyrics yourself." That's pretty much what I was going for. Though I would also exclude stuff like analysis of lyrics (for English) or translation requests (for non-English). A separate category might also work. Moshi‭ 5 months ago

@Moshi Just because a certain subset of questions are allowed on one site doesn't mean they're necessarily banned on another. You can have a subset of questions on-topic in multiple places; the one exception I think is when that subset has such a large following that it makes more sense to give it its own community. DonielF‭ 5 months ago

@DonielF nor am I implying so. However, we still need to address community overlap somehow, I merely noted that lyric and poetry was also in scope on Writing and thought about what to do about it. Moshi‭ 5 months ago

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Right now we don't have a good way of identifying people who would help build a new community, so let's do this: if you are interested in helping to build this site, please either leave a comment or edit this post describing your level of interest (casual visitor, enthusiast, expert in this topic within the site's scope, something else?). I'll edit them into the post later.

The following people have expressed interest:

  • FTR: I sing and play 8 instruments at various skill levels; my main instrument is piano, which I've been playing for almost literally my entire life. I compose my own music and write arrangements of songs as well. As the president of my college's music club, a position which involves arranging both my own music as well as others', coordinating practice sessions, and performing for my school. Needless to say, music is a large part of my life, and I'd be very active on a site like this. — DonielF

  • I sing in a choir and used to lead a folk-music band. I have composed and arranged music in renaissance styles (my focus area) and collaborated on a book about 15th-century Italian dances. I play hammer dulcimer, but not more conventional instruments like piano and guitar. Within these sometimes-niche areas I would expect to be active. Outside of them I'd be more casual. If songs are on-topic (questions about existing songs, lyrics, etc), I could contribute specifically to folk music (along with medieval & renaissance). - Monica Cellio

  • I casually play the piano and sing, but I don't think I'd be very active on that side of the site. On the other hand, I have music playing pretty much all the time and I take an interest in analyzing the lyrics and such (looks like I've asked 15 such questions on Literature Stack so far), so I can be relatively active in asking those types of questions and maybe even answering them. - Mithical

  • I'd love for codidact to have a music sub. I have participated in a similar initiative before. Not a big head myself but I enough to have used to play bass in a band with my friends ~50 gigs 2007-2012. — 8063♦

  • I have some expertise in south Indian classical music, known as Carnatic music. Though I am not a professional musician, I have gone through a few years of vocal training. Nowadays I listen to a lot more music than what I sing, so I'd call myself an enthusiast. I will gladly contribute content in the area of Indian classical music; contributing in other areas would definitely be difficult for me, though. — ‭Abheri Ragam

  • I’m a hobbyist musician (drummer, choir member, occasional guitarist) who used to play/sing in various bands and in churches, and I’m also a music fan. I’d be a casual participant, assuming questions about gear/tech are on topic (e.g., strategies for switching to DANTE from traditional sound for home setup, pros/cons of various “dark” cymbals in certain venues, etc.). — laserkittens (Dan)

  • Not a musician but I love to listen to songs. Would probably be a casual visitor with some questions about music across different cultures. — Moshi

  • Not a musician, either, but a very active music listener and investigator of both history and trivia on many different styles. — fedorqui

  • Even though I may be an electrical engineer by profession, I am a music hobbyist. I play piano and the trombone (tenor and bass). Currently, I am writing music for a video game I am developing. I have taken a course before in basic music theory that covered topics of basic chord types to scale modes to various cadence types at the end of a composition. With music composition, I utilize FL Studio as a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) software and know a fair amount of audio waveforms and signal processing from software usage and my electrical engineering profession. I can answer questions basic music theory and the usage of DAWs. Since I'm developing music for my own video game, I may also be able to answer questions about copyright, fair use, and terms of agreements with how to utilize 3rd party resources. — KingDuken

  • I am a nearly lifelong player of piano (began at age 3) and other keyboards, also a MIDI module designer and builder (using Linux on various hardware), and sometime tremolo harmonica player for 20 years or so. Twelve years of classical piano as a child. Band leader, neoclassical rock/jazz fusion, since 2011. I'm quite interested in online society. I will be commenting, because I am absolutely positive we have to be careful here, we cannot lump all "music" in one site or we get chaos. - J.E.B. of Ponderworthy

  • I make orchestral tracks with my electric piano. They usually come out ok. My goal is to make music for movies when I am old enough to get a job. I would answer questions about chords, musical layering, and recording setups. I think questions that ask "What song is this?" are innapropriate for a site like this. - 10 Rep

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3 comments

I'd love for codidact to have a music sub. I have participated in a similar initiative before. Not a big head myself but I enough to have used to play bass in a band with my friends ~50 gigs 2007-2012. .                                                .‭ 8 months ago

I ocassionally make orchestral tracks and It's my dream to make movie music 10 Rep‭ 3 months ago

@10Rep -- good news; the community has now launched. Please bring your questions about orchestral tracks to music.codidact.com. Monica Cellio‭ 3 months ago

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Regarding

  • Purchases: Where can I buy [sufficiently detailed music-related item]?

I propose making this a category like Outdoor's and Photography's Gear Recommendation categories.

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0 comments

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Are questions about business aspects of music also in scope? Issues such as:

  • securing licenses & paying royalties when performing others' works
  • finding and negotiating for performance venues
  • managing your sales (accounting, taxes, etc)
  • agents

I don't have an opinion for or against. This isn't a request but the identification of a gap.

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3 comments

I'm not in the field, but I doubt that managing accounting, taxes, etc. would be specific enough to musical professionals that "accounting for musicians" would need to go on one site and "accounting for writers" would need to go on another and "accounting for photographers" on a third. Advice would also be jurisdiction-specific. Some Other Q&A network has a site dedicated to personal finance where small-business-related finances questions aren't uncommon but are offtopic; maybe that's a niche? Canina‭ 8 months ago

@aCVn there's a spectrum, which is why I asked. "How do I get Quicken to..." is clearly too general; "how do I report royalty income in such-and-such tax jurisdiction" isn't music-specific but is more narrow so might be in; "how does Harry Fox (a music-specific agency for handling royalties) report/pay out small-stakes creators" is too specific for a general finance site. Monica Cellio‭ 8 months ago

I think a reasonable benchmark would be not just “is it reasonable to expect that someone who knows about music would be qualified to answer the question,” but also “is it reasonable to expect that specifically someone who knows about music would be qualified to answer.” There’s no reason I would turn specifically to a musician for a TurboTax question which may happen to be used for a music group. But if I’m looking for help on Logic Pro, a musician is probably the best person to ask. DonielF‭ 8 months ago

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