Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Music examples

Music examples are an obviously valuable and necessary addition to Wikipedia, often superior to text. These are both far more valuable and far more free than music samples being abstract categories applicable to multiple examples without any of the copyright or other law applicable to samples.

But how should these examples be provided? Should they be provided in the most contemporary and advanced technology, for accuracy, even if that software is not accessible to the majority of users? Should it rather present less advanced and accurate examples which are available to far more users? Should it present a diversity; such as the chord apreggiated and simultaneously, or should it be as brief as possible?


The {{Listen}} template can produce a thumbnail box for audio and video files, similar to an image file. The example here uses a MIDI sample:

Wikicode may be used to generate MIDI audio, as well as the music notation, without the explicit creation of a MIDI file. For instance, a C major chord:

<score sound="1">
   \override Score.TimeSignature #'stencil = ##f
   \relative c' {
     \clef treble
     \time 4/4
     \key c \major
     <c e g>1



This may be contrasted with an image of a musical score, such as:

A major triad has a major third (M3) on the bottom, a minor third (m3) on top, and a perfect fifth (P5) between the outer notes.

Note that the Wikiscore MIDI output generates equal temperament only, and cannot currently generate other tuning systems such as just intonation. This example provides MIDI files in the caption, using the {{Audio}} template:

Technical examplesEdit

Combining with an image:

The just major triad is composed of three tones in simple, whole number ratios. This example's MIDI is precluded by the Score Extension code.

Copyright vs. UnsourcedEdit

There may be a few instances in which a musical "example" is considered copyrightable, or there may be many instances of use which may require "real world" exapmles.

Technical examples, often visual, are much more free and much more limited to examples from musical scores.