[Smt-talk] Music theory on Wikipedia

Michael Gogins michael.gogins at gmail.com
Fri Jul 15 08:03:46 PDT 2011

As a very frequent user (and occasional editor) of Wikipedia articles, I
find that there often are gaps between introductory (or "high-school level")
materials and substantial (or "grad-school level") materials in technical
fields including math, physics, and music theory.

These gaps usually occur where the authors of the substantial articles
assume that the reader commands basic terms and concepts in the field. When
I go elsewhere in the Wikipedia to learn about them, I often am left short.

This is understandable -- the missing content is what they teach in the hard
courses for juniors, seniors, and first year grad students.

Still, I find that a really competent writer can expound the basic concepts
so concisely, clearly, and unambiguously that an intelligent amateur or
beginner can find an entry into the substantial articles.

So, I think one of the most substantial contributions scholars can make to
the Wikipedia is to really tighten up the exposition of fundamental concepts
so that they are both accessible to beginners and unambiguous and rigorous
enough for technical use. An example that might benefit from this treatment
in music theory on the Wikipedia is "prolongation."

Michael Gogins
Irreducible Productions
Michael dot Gogins at gmail dot com
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