[Smt-talk] Music theory on Wikipedia

Michael Gogins michael.gogins at gmail.com
Fri Jul 15 11:26:09 PDT 2011

>>On Fri, Jul 15, 2011 at 1:26 PM, Dmitri Tymoczko <dmitri at princeton.edu> wrote:
>> I don't mean to be flippant, but that's a pretty tall order!  I've always thought that the notion of "prolongation" is freighted with really serious philosophical complications.  Anyone who could remove these complications, and come up with a non->> circular definition of "prolongation," would be doing the field a great service ...
>>In a way, the notion of "prolongation" is almost a uniquely good example for confronting the challenges of getting music theory onto Wikipedia.

Well, I had your book's discussion of Schenkerian theory in the back
of my mind as I chose this example.

The implication is that if unfortunately a concise, accepted
definition of a basic term can't be expounded, at least the reader can
be alerted that this is the case, and an outline (concise and
unambiguous, of course) of the issues made.

In so many cases the beginner is not aware of which basic things are
less problematic, and which are more problematic! Especially if the
field is NOT mathematics or physics. Even, or perhaps ESPECIALLY, in
such cases, the basic principle "don't assume the reader knows the
assumptions" applies.

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