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Guidelines and FAQ

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Hello and welcome to the general discussion forum here at YC.

First, a word on moderation:

The moderation staff of this subforum will NOT censor your posts or edit your posts for content as we also think the free and open debate of ideas is to be defended at all costs.

However, general housekeeping rules will be observed (no spam, no outright trolling, posts/threads that don't belong in this forum will be moved, etc etc.) We will try to work as transparently as possible as we acknowledge that without trust in the moderation there's no chance for a good discussion to arise. The moderation staff is, however, free to engage in discussions as such but entirely outside of their capacities as moderators; don't be intimidated by the status and treat them like you would any other member.

And now some things to observe when posting here. Keep in mind these are not outright rules, but rather they're flexible guidelines and we will always allow deviation if we see it is reasonable. Note also that we reserve the right to change any and all sections of this in the future without notice.

(1) This is a music discussion subforum.

This means that discussions/debates are not only welcome but encouraged. When making a new thread, make sure that the content of the OP can lend itself to discussion. Seems obvious, but it's important to remember this is not a miscellaneous forum for posting whatever doesn't fit elsewhere.

(2a) Use the search feature. It is your friend.

There have been many good discussions already and maybe the one you want to start is similar to something we already had. This shouldn't discourage you from posting, but if you are to post make sure to either reference to the archive or try to continue where it left off to some degree so that we don't need to always start from scratch every time.

(2b) ... But do not revive ancient threads.

Post a link to the archive thread instead and ask people to read it as well, but do not try to revive a thread from years ago. Good rule of thumb is that if the thread's last post was more than 5 months ago it's not a good idea to bring it back.

(3) If you cannot contribute to a discussion, do not post.

If the discussion is either too complex, or you think it's dumb, etc and you feel you need to post something but that something isn't an actual contribution, do not post it. (This includes "this is dumb guys stop discussing X" and general derailment posts.) Instead if you really want to post something, try to engage the discussion if only to give your viewpoint without having to attack anything.

(4) Explain yourself.

Opinions expressed shouldn't necessarily be backed by book sources or whatever, but it'd be certainly nice to know why someone holds such and such opinion. After all, before any discussion even exists we need to be clear on where everybody stands on the issue if they are to participate. Please do not assume positions of others if they were not clearly stated. This rule goes double for OPs of new threads, please try to be as thorough as possible in your exposition of the issue and pay attention to possible misinterpretations or conflicting terminology.

(5) Be clear.

Do not talk about "classical music," or "atonality," or whatever in broad general terms since this does not help understand which part of the rather broad topic you're referring to. Talk about composers, pieces, specific techniques, specific epochs (and composers) and tendencies instead. Refer to concrete musical examples if you must show something, rather than simply using a blanket statement and avoid generalizations if they point to possible problems down the road (eg: "20th century music is all atonal" or "pop music is too simple.") Also, of course, check that your terminology is properly used (check with the teachers here, or in help forums if you aren't sure!)

(6) Research.

Don't know what someone means by "isorhythm" or "baroque affects"? YC has a staff of teachers and help forums where you can ask just those kinds of things! Remember, ignorance is not a crime and being honest about what you do and don't know can go a long way towards avoiding problems. You should come here to discuss things, not ask for help (see no.1) therefore if simply do not have the knowledge to participate do try to do some research before jumping in if you must.

(7) Be nice.

Being ruthless in criticizing people's ideas can be helpful in any discussion, but never when it incites attacks and insults. Don't let discussions drag down to that level if possible. Don't understand someone's point or is someone misunderstanding your position? It is easy to get riled up in some discussions and forget that there's always time to slow down and try to check for possible misunderstandings or simply ask someone to explain their position in other terms. Likewise, if someone thinks you're not being clear and requests that you explain it better then by all means you should. Remember, disagreements are inevitable, but fights aren't.

(8) Music/art is a complicated topic and many things are subjective!

It goes without saying, but chances are someone will simply not agree with your position on something. Some discussion topics which are too dependent on taste will often fall short of genuine discussion (eg, "Favourite composer" type threads,) but almost all topics that have to do with music have a subjective element to them and it's inevitable that we reach for our tastes as well. Understand where each topic stands on that spectrum of subjectivity is crucial (eg, talking about how many strings the violin had in a period in history is not up to debate as much as how interesting it could be to write for violin.) Keep it in mind.

(9) Have Fun!

Finally, if you're not having fun, then you're doing something wrong.

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F.A.Q

Q: What is regarded as "trolling?" Why is everyone calling eachother this?

A: Unfortunately there's a bad habit in the internet at large that when a discussion isn't going your way you can just pull the "troll" card. This here is not acceptable and calling someone a troll is a rather serious thing to say as it invokes the moderation to act.

Therefore, trolling here involves:

A) Someone who is deliberately posting derail/disrupt posts that do not contribute to the topics they are posted in.

B) Someone who flings insults around/attack members without any good reason (out of the blue, or not called for.) This is not the same thing as a thread degenerating into insults due to people being riled up by the discussion, as here the intent is to outright disrupt.

C) Makes threads/posts purposely vague to bring up controversial topics in a way that pushes buttons rather than encourage reasonable discourse. (Eg: Atonality/composer/whatever sucks! threads.)

If it doesn't involve these things, then it's not trolling and reporting it as such may get YOU in drama instead (specially if we catch you calling people trolls when you're just losing an argument.) Don't summon moderation unless you are absolutely sure as it can disrupt the thread just as much.

Q) It sounds like a lot of work to do this discussion thing, why should I bother to look things up/be clear/check my terminology/consult others?

A) If you plan to frequent the discussion area, people will pay attention to how you behave and if the quality of your posts isn't good then they'll also stop taking you seriously. It's entirely understandable that if someone refuses to research something yet keeps parroting about it they will lose respect and people will take to mocking or w/e. And really now, it's your job to avoid making factual errors or simply putting out silly arguments and we can't really do much if anyone else tears it apart and laughs.

Q) But what if I just want to state my opinion without others commenting on it??

A) The moderation here isn't for protecting you from the backlash of your statements UNLESS they derail the thread entirely or become too abusive. Just like you can comment on others' opinions, be prepared to be commented on. If you do NOT wish others to engage your ideas then do NOT post them.

Q) But I DO really think that all music after 1740 sucks and Mozart is the best composer ever!

A) The forum isn't your personal blog. What you say has consequences and be prepared if you really go out and say stuff like this. Again, we will NOT protect you from yourself and you can expect opinions just as harsh back.

Q) I have a question, is this the right forum to post it?

A) Is the question meant to be discussed by members, or only to help you? If it's for a discussion, then yes you should post it here. If it's only to help you we are glad to receive it in the Ask YC subforum.

Thanks for reading and happy posting!

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