[Smt-talk] Wiki

Devin Chaloux devin.chaloux at gmail.com
Mon Aug 1 21:04:07 PDT 2011

Thank you Yosef for the reply!

I was speaking in terms of students and how they act today - I am very aware
of where I can get top-end results on research. I use Grove very often.

As a TA, I taught college freshmen last year and I had several run-ins with
"well Wikipedia said..." The fact is - students get information from there
whether or not we tell them too. In the mind of the student - if I'm off
campus, it is a pain to get onto the VPN or proxy so I can search something
up through the library website. I'm not sure how many clicks that takes on
each school's website, but to our streamlining youth, they'll tend to go
with the path of least resistance, which is probably Wikipedia.

Regardless, we should be maintaining Wikipedia pages, to some degree, for
all who aren't affiliated with academic institutions and want to find more.
There are plenty of people in the world who could benefit from an article on
Wikipedia and stimulate their own interest. These articles will never be at
the level of a Grove entry. Drabkin's entry in Grove is a great resource
that we can trust for a detailed explanation of prolongation.

At the same time, Grove fails us sometimes where in articles just like
prolongation, we have no bibliography or references section to learn more.
Yet, I go to the Wikipedia page, and the reference section brings my
attention to Salzer's "Structural Hearing", Salzer and Schachter's
"Counterpoint in Composition", Drabkin's article on Schenker in the
Cambridge Companion to Western Music, etc. But - it also cites Straus' "The
Problem of Prolongation in Post-Tonal Music." No where in the Grove article
did it mention anything about issues with prolongation in post-tonal music -
and having read this article in congruence with a lecture dealing with
Schenkerian analysis, it certainly is a resource I think is worthy of at
least linking to the article. Nevertheless, the Wikipedia page ignores
Larson's response to that article "The Problem of Prolongation in Tonal
Music: Terminology, Perception, and Expressive Meaning" which I think would
enhance the article.

...And I'm sure there are tens to hundreds more articles that deal with the
issue of prolongation in music. We have this incredible resource (the
Internet) at our hands to help us link articles we think are relevant and
important to specific issues in our field. While I currently don't mind
perusing through thousands of articles and books through databases like RILM
and WorldCat, searching different keywords just to make sure I don't
overlook a potential source, we have the ability to organize a reference
list for major topics. In a utopian world, we could compile lists like David
Carson Berry did with his "A Topical Guide to Schenkerian Literature: An
Annotated Bibliography with Indices" and keep it up to date.

It's not about making Wikipedia our new Grove - it's about utilizing
Wikipedia for its strengths. We can direct our students to, rather an avoid
Wikipedia, learn how Wikipedia could be a "tool" to help jump start their
research. Between that, access to non-academic affiliated people, and the
ability to update Wikipedia instantly, it should be a resource we should

At this point, I will bow out of this discussion. I only intended to first
shed light on the situation from a current student's perspective. I hope I
have succeeded at this point.

Happy analyzing!

*Devin Chaloux*
University of Cincinnati - College-Conservatory of Music
M.M. in Music Theory '12

2011/8/1 יוסי גולדנברג Yosef Goldenberg <geyeni at netvision.net.il>

> ** ** ** **
> Online sources are great and convenient. But if you are affiliated to an
> academic institution, you probably have access to the electronic Grove. Two
> more clicks, and you have the William Drabkin authoritative entry on
> "prolongation". ****
> ** **
> There are also free sites that are at least semi-authoritative [like the
> Tom Pankhurst Schenker website]. For fundamentals, there is Ricci Adams'
> http://www.musictheory.net/****
> ** **
> Some libraries have authoritative portals, e.g.
> http://hcl.harvard.edu/research/guides/biblio/onmusic/hclweb [Online
> sources for music scholars /Harvard], although I am not aware of a good
> portal for music theory [perhaps the SMT should have one?]****
> ** **
> In short, good accessible sources that circumvent Wikipedia and are not
> open for free editing might be a more professional solution than.trying to
> make Wikipedia what it is not.****
> ** **
> Yossi Goldenberg****
> ****Jerusalem** **Academy**** of Music and Dance****
> and ****
> The **Hebrew** **University** of ****Jerusalem********
> ** **
>  ------------------------------
> *From:* smt-talk-bounces at lists.societymusictheory.org [mailto:
> smt-talk-bounces at lists.societymusictheory.org] *On Behalf Of *Devin
> Chaloux
> *Sent:* Monday, August 01, 2011 10:52 PM
> *To:* smt-talk at lists.societymusictheory.org
> *Subject:* [Smt-talk] Wiki****
> ** **
> However, as a student myself, I feel like I need to address the issue from
> the other side of the table. If I'm on my laptop and there is a concept that
> I might want to find out more about - maybe because the discussion in the
> source I'm currently invested in does not do the appropriate job or I'm in
> an article that is above my level of understanding - I'm going to type that
> term in my search bar on my browser. Try it yourself, Google/Yahoo/Bing
> "Prolongation music" (because with some terms, it's necessary to distinguish
> music versus another common term) - and bam! - that blasted Wikipedia page
> is the very first entry!
> ****
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