Xenharmonic Wiki

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This page is about the online encyclopedia. For the Xenharmonic Wiki's home page, see Main Page.

The Xenharmonic Wiki (sometimes abbreviated to Xen Wiki) is an online encyclopedia about microtonal music. It serves as a central hub for the Xenharmonic Alliance to share all kinds of knowledge about microtonal music with the world, from theory to practice and beyond.

The Xenharmonic Wiki is a complementary resource to Wikipedia; in that sense, the scope of the Xenharmonic Wiki can be compared to that of wikis hosted on websites such as Fandom in that they are specialized encyclopedias, whereas Wikipedia is a general-purpose encyclopedia with stricter guidelines regarding its content and structure.


Pre-Xenharmonic Wiki (2001-2005)

On September 23rd, 2001, John Starrett noticed the newly created Wikipedia project and shared it with the microtonal community in the Yahoo Groups tuning lists.[1] Several community members eventually joined Wikipedia and started working on articles about basic topics such as musical tuning, just intonation and equal temperament, with most contributions starting late 2003. The community successfully improved several articles, but also quickly experienced setbacks against some of Wikipedia's policies.

The first notable issue occurred with the "Lucy tuning" article,[2] where Charles Lucy's contributions were considered contrary to Wikipedia's neutral point of view policy.[3] The article was later deleted by the Wikipedia community as it also failed to follow the verifiability policy and notability guidelines. In the following years, many more articles suffered the same fate for similar reasons, such as "tina", "Tonalsoft", "79-tone tuning", "Xenharmonic Wiki", etc., which motivated a part of the community to leave Wikipedia and contribute to the Xenharmonic Wiki instead, while some chose to work on both websites.

Riters (2005)

The idea of a dedicated microtonal wiki was first suggested by Jacob Barton in the tuning lists on March 26th, 2005.[4] Most replies were positive, especially as some community members pointed out that it would allow original research, as opposed to Wikipedia. On April 4th, 2005, Graham Breed set up a wiki named "microtonal" on Riters.com, a free wiki hosting service[5]. The home page presented the wiki as "The Alternative Tunings and Spinoff Lists Wiki". However, Riters.com was shutting down only a few months later, so another host had to be found in order to keep the microtonal wiki available.

Wikispaces (2005-2018)

On September 27th, 2005, Jacob Barton opened a wiki named "xenharmonic (microtonal wiki)" on Wikispaces, another wiki hosting service, in order to replace the wiki hosted on Riters.com. The home page presented the wiki as the "Xenharmonic Wiki" only after Jacob's edit on October 27th, 2009.[6]

Overall, this version of the wiki attracted more editors and gradually grew to become an all-around resource for the microtonal community. Parallel wikis in Spanish and German were also created, and several Japanese-language pages were made, although no separate Japanese wiki was created.

A migration of the previous wiki's content to Wikispaces was planned, but it seems not everything was migrated, as some pages that existed on the Riters.com wiki were never created on Wikispaces.

The Xenharmonic Wiki was forced again to find a new host when Wikispaces shut down in 2018. A final backup was made before the wiki was migrated to its new host.

MediaWiki (2018-present)

Mike Battaglia and Tyler Henthorn worked together to organize the transition away from Wikispaces. Tyler, who worked at Wikispaces at the time, generously offered to take care of the hosting for the new wiki.[7] They decided to run MediaWiki, the same wiki platform used on Wikipedia, on a new standalone website with its own domain, "xen.wiki". After several months of effort, the migration was an overall success, with only minor hiccups such as the loss of the Wikispaces user accounts. Mike announced the launch of the new Xenharmonic Wiki on September 17th, 2018.[8]

The current website hosts the Xenharmonic Wiki in English, Spanish and German, as well as Osmiorisbendi's "Wiki Purdal", which was also hosted on Wikispaces prior before 2018.


External links