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Subject: Which Classical Music Newsgroup? (FAQ)

This article was archived around: 05 Nov 2000 09:19:29 GMT

All FAQs in Directory: music/classical
All FAQs posted in: rec.music.classical, rec.music.classical.contemporary, rec.music.classical.performing, rec.music.classical.recordings, rec.music.early, rec.music.compose, rec.music.theory
Source: Usenet Version


Archive-name: music/classical/newsgroups Posting-frequency: fortnightly Last-modified: 2 January 1999 Version: 0.12b
W H I C H C L A S S I C A L N E W S G R O U P ? This fortnightly posting is intended to guide those wishing to post to the various Usenet newsgroups dealing with classical music. It aims to help the potential poster select the right newsgroup(s) as well as alerting them to various aspects of general Usenet etiquette (commonly referred to as `netiquette'). I hope that it will also prove helpful to newcomers to Usenet in selecting appropriate newsgroups to read. So - you have an article which you suppose would be of interest to people who enjoy listening to classical music or to performers of classical music or to composers of classical music, or perhaps you have a question which you would like to put to one of these groups of people. Which newsgroup or newsgroups should you post to? Start here! ----------- | V +--------------------+ +-----------------------------+ | Is your article | YES | You should probably post to | | strictly concerned |--------->| rec.music.theory. Note that | | with music theory? | | it is not solely oriented | +--------------------+ | to classical music theory. | | +-----------------------------+ NO | | V +---------------------+ +-----------------------+ | Is your article | | You should probably | | strictly concerned | | consider posting to | | with composition, | YES | rec.music.compose, | | e.g., writing of |--------->| a newsgroup specially | | music, harmony, | | for composers, though | | orchestration etc.? | | not only classical. | +---------------------+ +-----------------------+ | NO | | V +---------------------+ | Is your article | +---------------------------------+ | strictly concerned | | You should probably consider | | with performance | YES | posting to the newsgroup | | issues, e.g., vocal |--------->| rec.music.classical.performing, | | or instrumental | | a newsgroup dedicated to | | technique, hire of | | performing issues.* | | sheet music etc.? | +---------------------------------+ +---------------------+ | | * Rec.music.makers.piano and like-named newsgroups | may also be worth consideration by players of NO | these instruments, though they are not classical | newsgroups as such. Guitarists also have the | choice of rec.music.classical.guitar. V +---------------------+ | Is your article | +---------------------------------+ | strictly concerned | | You should probably post to | | with recordings of | YES | rec.music.classical.recordings, | | pieces of classical |--------->| a newsgroup dedicated to | | music and/or their | | reviews, recommendations and | | relative merits? | | other recording-related issues. | +---------------------+ +---------------------------------+ | NO | | V +----------------------+ +-----------------------+ | Is your article | | You should probably | | largely concerned | YES | consider posting to | | with historical |--------->| rec.music.early, a | | performance practice | | newsgroup devoted to | | and/or with music of | | discussion of so- | | Baroque or earlier | | `early music'.* | | periods? | +-----------------------+ +----------------------+ | | * `Early music' is as much to do with an approach to | performance as it is do with a particular period. NO | Nevertheless, there tends to be a concentration | (among its proponents) on Renaissance, Baroque | and early Classical music.[2] V +------------------+ +------------------------------+ | Is your article | YES | You should probably post to | | mainly concerned |--------->| rec.music.opera, a newsgroup | | with opera? | | dedicated to discussion of | +------------------+ | all things operatic. | | +------------------------------+ NO | | V +----------------------+ +-----------------------------------+ | Is your article | | You should probably post to | | largely concerned | YES | rec.music.classical.contemporary, | | with music written |--------->| a newsgroup devoted to discussion | | after about 1950, | | of modern classical music. | | i.e., contemporary?* | +-----------------------------------+ +----------------------+ | | * The `contemporary' period is defined in the Charter NO | as being `the most recent 50 years.' It should not | be regarded as absolute. | V +----------------------+ | Is your article | +-----------------------+ | strictly concerned | | You should probably | | with listening to | | consider posting to | | classical music in | YES | rec.music.classical, | | the concert hall, or |--------->| the general-purpose | | music history, or is | | classical newsgroup.* | | it, in some sense, | +-----------------------+ | of general interest? | +----------------------+ * If your article is concerned with | music for film or television, you | may wish to consider the group | rec.music.movies instead. | NO | If you are particularly interested | in Indian classical music, you may | wish to try the more specialised | group rec.music.indian.classical. V +---------------------------+ +---------------------------+ | Does your article fall | NO | You probably need to look | | into more than one of |-------->| elsewhere on Usenet. You | | the preceding categories? | | may even have to start | +---------------------------+ | your own newsgroup! :o) | | +---------------------------+ YES | | V +----------------------------+ | Can you split your article | | into separate articles, | YES +--------+ | each fitting into one of |--------->| Do it! | | the above categories? | +--------+ +----------------------------+ | NO | | V +----------------------------+ | You may need to consider | | cross-posting your article | | (see below). | +----------------------------+ Now that you know where your article should go, it is worth making sure before you actually go ahead and post it that you do so in accordance with Usenet `netiquette', a loose body of rules which have been developed over the years to prevent posters wasting readers' time, causing undue offence or abusing the network resources. First of all, you should make sure that your article is clearly written and pitched at the right level for the intended audience. This can be a tricky exercise as Usenet newsgroups are read by a diverse group of several hundred thousand people worldwide. It is, however, worthwhile taking the time to read through your article and check at the very least for spelling mistakes, simple grammatical errors and ambiguous or difficult-to-read sentences. In particular, try to avoid the use of local idiom and colloquialisms as these may be misunderstood by people in other parts of the world and may even cause offence where they have different meanings to different people. Do take the time to capitalise the initial letters of sentences and proper names but do not write your entire article in block capitals! Choose an appropriate title for your article, to be included in the `Subject' line. This is the first point of contact readers have with your article and should be sufficiently informative that they can decide whether or not it will be worth reading, on that basis alone. If your article is a reply to an existing `thread' of articles, make sure that you change the subject line appropriately if the thread has strayed from the original topic, as often happens. Also, when replying to articles, make sure readers can understand your article without having seen preceding articles; on the other hand, do not quote excessively from other articles. Do not post the same article to more than one newsgroup. In the event that your article crosses newsgroup boundaries in its scope but there is no way of dividing it to eliminate this problem, you should cross-post the article by including two (or very rarely more than two) newsgroup names in the newsgroups line. They should be separated by commas (and no spaces), e.g., Newsgroups: rec.music.compose,rec.music.classical This way, use of network resources will be lessened and readers of more than one of the newsgroups to which you cross-post will only see your article once, in the first newsgroup they happen to read.[3] If your article puts a question to the readership of a newsgroup, make sure first of all that your question is not one of the group's frequently-asked questions. To do this you should refer to the FAQ (frequently-asked questions file) for the newsgroup, where it exists. There are general FAQs for the newsgroups rec.music.classical and rec.music.classical.performing. All FAQs are posted periodically (usually monthly) to the newsgroups in question. If your system does not retain periodic postings during that time, you can also obtain FAQs by anonymous FTP from a number of sites around the world. Ask a local system administrator how to do this. The article you are reading just now can be obtained in the same way. Of course, not all frequently-asked questions appear in formal lists and another way of finding out whether your question/topic has been answered/addressed previously is to consult archives of postings to the newsgroup in question. These are maintained in various places, notably on the World-Wide Web at http://www.dejanews.com/. (The WWW also houses numerous useful repositories of musical information; a good starting point is http://www.gprep.org/classical/.) Finally, the best guide to netiquette is simply to read newsgroups for a while before attempting to post at all. Six months is probably a reasonable time to become suitably familiar with Usenet procedure.[1] I would also strongly recommend reading articles in the newsgroup news.announce.newusers. These cover far more of netiquette than I have sketched here and a lot more besides. ---- [1] Two or three people have commented that six months is a ridiculously long time to wait before posting to Usenet. This period is based on what seemed to be widely accepted as reasonable a few years ago. Since then, with the proliferation of public access to the Internet, there has been a noticeable decline in the average quality of postings, strongly suggesting to me that this sensible guideline is no longer being followed by more than a small minority. This does not make it any less valid, in my opinion. While the basic mechanics of posting can be easily discovered within hours, there is much to be said for observing over an extended period of time to see which topics recur frequently and to learn from the mistakes made by more impatient novice (and some seasoned) posters. [2] After a number of suggestions and much head-scratching, I have amended my definition of early music to include the music of Bach, and even later music, noting that the central tenet of early music in this sense is essentially historical performance accuracy and that a particular period is not strictly implied. [3] I used to include a note to the effect that you should also appropriately limit the geographical distribution of your article. However, at present, the Usenet method of restricting distribution is almost completely broken, for various reasons. Until such time as a meaningful replacement for this once-useful facility is found, I will omit such a recommendation. -- Sandy Nicholson * <new web site URL to be announced>