Xenharmonic Wiki:Things to do

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Hello there! This page is a place for various projects and minute things to do on this wiki. Please be welcome to help with any of them you like!

If you think something essential was forgotten and should be here, don’t be shy to add a new section here! If you don’t know if a project would be interesting to others, write at the talk page and let’s decide it together.

When the technical help is needed, please aid volunteers with a tool or two for being sure the details are easy to make right. For example, a template, a converter etc..

See also Conventions, Wikifuture, Migration FAQ as well as Category:Todo and its subcategories.

Details to fill out in articles

  • Interval pages like 3/2
    • <Please write what may still be desired>
  • <Other kinds of pages>

Archiving outdated discussions

Discussion pages tend to become confusing over time. The sections at the beginning are often long since finished. This tendency is easy to observe, but hardly anyone knows how to archive outdated articles.

We probably need some templates to support archiving. Moving old sections to subpage(s) is not as hard, but a bit of automatic decoration/guidance/navigation would help people to do this.

Automated archiving would be nice, but not essential in the first place.

Infobox for EDO pages

In EDO pages (see for example 23edo, 74edo, 167edo), core information is currently still given in prose, which makes it difficult to get this information together. Adding another infobox template would help to present and manage the formal information.

At the moment, we tend to include of these core characteristics

  • step count
  • step size
  • patent val

Join our discussion: Xenharmonic Wiki talk:Things to do #Infobox for EDO pages

Categories of interval pages

There are lots of interval pages in the wiki, for example 3/2, 8/7, 25/24, 11/8... We developed an info box that brings the core features together. Still open is the question which category name would fit best for all of them. We currently observe a seemingly random mix of

At present, it appears that we will replace most of them with Category:Rational interval" in the future.

Please join our discussion in Xenharmonic Wiki talk:Things to do #Relations of various interval categories! Thanks 🙂

Proposal: Shorten editing titles

When using tabbed browsing, long identical prefixes (like Editing ) in titles make it hard to differentiate tabs of wiki pages currently being edited.

system message predefined text suggested text
MediaWiki:Editingcomment Editing $1 (new section) ✎ $1 (new section)
MediaWiki:Editing Editing $1 ✎ $1
MediaWiki:Editingsection Editing $1 (section) ✎ $1 (section)

What do you think about the proposed change?

Join the discussion at Xenharmonic Wiki talk:Things to do #Shorten editing titles

Get rid of "alternative pages"

There are some pages that were mostly started out of frustration of on particular user not any more active in this wiki. The problem with diverging pages about the same topic is that linking to it tends to break or at least dissipate the consistency of the entire wiki. As normally would be the case with pages targeting the same topic but created by chance, the content should be merged into the (mostly obvious) main page. If there is noting valuable on it, the pages should be deleted. The pages are currently in the Category:Alternative pages. For discussing deletion etc, we should refrain from doing that on the respective discussion pages, because deletion will remove these as well. We'd better open an own page for discussion deletion.

I took a look at these. The edo pages are a relic of a discussion on facebook about the proper format for edo pages. Sort of useful. I suggest deleting all but the 15edo-a page and Gareth's page. The 94-edo page might have some good stuff, but since it's 94edo and 15edo jumbled together, it's also really confusing. This is what I suggest, but I don't feel I have the authority to actually delete someone's page. --TallKite (talk) 03:05, 12 January 2021 (UTC)

Place to discuss deletion requests

Sometimes it's not easy to decide if a page should be deleted or not, it has to be discussed first. The problem with discussing deletion requests on the discussion page of the page being questioned is that they both have the same future. If the deletion happens, normal users have no access to the reasoning any more. Most wikis use an extra page for this purpose.

The so-called project namespace (in this wiki it's indicated by the prefix Xenharmonic Wiki:) is dedicated to that purpose, see pages currently in the project namespace.

Disambiguation project

There is a project Xenharmonix Wiki:Disambiguation that aims to build the tools we need. Please join the work and discuss related issues.

Naming articles

To reflect our current efforts, a #Naming articles section should be added to Xenharmonic Wiki:Conventions. Please review, rework, and/or discuss following draft:

Wiki pages should follow the usual English capitalization rules, except for the very first character, which is automatically capitalized by the wiki software. This means that words inside the title are written in lower case, except for proper names.

Currently, there is still a mixture of styles that has historical reasons: In the beginning, titles were started in WikiCase because the Wikispaces software used at that time automatically linked such words. Later, the configuration was adjusted so that links were only created if this was specified by appropriate markup. Here, the titles started to look like titles, but to a large extent also with the usual capitalization of all meaningful words for titles (book titles). Then came the switch to MediaWiki with new features that were only slowly adapted (redirects, categories, etc.). Meanwhile, we have moved on to making full use of the wiki software's support. Thus a) pages are always linked regardless of the upper and lower case of the first character (e.g. [[Cent]] == [[cent]]Cent == cent) and b) characters that are appended after the link markup are included in the link label (e.g. [[cent]]s == [[cent|cents]]cents == cents). This way, links can usually be embedded in the text without much effort.

13-Limit, 17-Limit and 19-Limit Comma Pages


A project to reorganize 11-limit and 13-limit temperaments. That is still discussed.

Join the discussion Xenharmonic Wiki talk:Things to do#13-Limit, 17-Limit and 19-Limit Comma Pages!

Comma tables in EDO pages

We found (on User talk:FloraC #Fractions vs. names in interval lemmas) that the comma tables on EDO pages are overloaded with information already given elsewhere. This self-evolving "convention" makes it hard to provide consistent and correct information about, (alternative) names, corrections etc. The original information should eventually find place in a dedicated page for each comma; the overview pages about commas (Large comma, Medium comma, Small comma, Unnoticeable comma) should be seen as secondary source then. Currently we tend to reduce the comma tables on EDO pages to at most three columns:

  • p-Limit
  • linked name or fraction (depending) on the lemma of the link target
  • Comments ← only if there really are useful comments

This can be discussed in Xenharmonic Wiki talk:Things to do#Comma tables in EDO pages

Improve accessibility of wiki and present info in a non-technical way

(shortcut(s): Xenwiki:Accessibility, XenWiki:Accessibility)

Many newcomers to xen are daunted by the math-heavy presentation of tunings and basic MOS/temperament ideas on this wiki. Therefore we propose the following:

  • Unfamiliar terms should be linked when they are first used in an article.
  • Section off or subpage all the math-heavy parts of articles (for example to move Fokker block#Mathematical description to Fokker block/Math).
  • Introductory articles and sections should assume at most high school algebra and should focus on practical knowledge for musicians and composers, such as musical examples, how to build a scale in Scala, or what intervals and chords 17edo has.
  • EDO pages should follow the above rule too. They should present general information in a standardized format, like an encyclopedia article (Not making any particular suggestion on the format now).
    • Subpage more theoretical data such as RTT data (such as the comma table) and Zheanist data (such as nejis and higher harmonic series chords approximated)?
  • Explanations of abstract concepts should use visualizations and examples where possible (They help even in more mathy contexts).
  • Scales of size 5 to 10 should be given extra attention on the wiki.
  • Collaborative work on the Practical RTT series for teaching regular temperament theory (RTT) while using linear algebra terms as little as possible. While Mike's lectures were no doubt valuable to some people, they would have effectively involved teaching a whole course on theoretical linear algebra.
    • Maybe there's no need to even teach people to use x31eq or read mapping matrices; see newer proposals above.

Further proposals coming.

Please join the discussion in Xenharmonic Wiki talk:Things to do#Improve accessibility of wiki and present info in a non-technical way!

Reorganize temperament pages

How should temperament pages be reorganized?

Inthar's take: IMO there are too many rank-2 temperaments on this wiki that are just variants of each other (have similar optimal tunings) and only differ in some high complexity interpretation for an extra harmonic. Ideally the most important (low-complexity) approximations and subgroups should be given first, and one way we can pin those down is look at what intervals are approximated in small EDO tunings (<=36edo) for the rank 2 temperament.

This suggests a scale-tree based format for temperament pages; each page would focus on a fixed MOS structure and possible temperaments for the generator chain that generates that MOS. The temperaments are ordered in increasing generator size, and more complex temperaments (i.e. approximating additional JI intervals with intervals further out in the generator chain) would be children of simpler temperaments. The new scale tree temperament pages need not replace current temperament pages (they could even be integrated into current MOS structure pages like 5L 2s), but I believe that this is the most intuitive format and should be what newcomers to RTT-based tunings should be directed to. See example of this format.

Proposal: This organization for temperament pages should be integrated into current MOS structure pages.

Please join the discussion in Xenharmonic Wiki talk:Things to do#Reorganize temperament pages!

New format for temperament entries

Present regular temperament tunings on temperament pages in a new concrete, easy-to-read format.

We are canceling it because it turns out suboptimal.

Please join the discussion in Xenharmonic Wiki talk:Things to do#New format for temperament entries!

Terminology proposals

Reformulate use of special terms to make them more obviously musically meaningful.

  • Re-formulate "consistent": Use the formulations "all-odd harmonic series chord C is consistent in N-edo" to mean that:
  1. every instance of an interval in C is mapped to the same size in its approximation C' (for example, 4:6:9 is approximated using two fifths of the same size), and
  2. no interval within the chord is off by more than 50% of an edo step.
I think the formulation "1:3:5:7:9:11 is consistent in 31edo" is more obviously meaningful than "31edo is consistent in the 11-odd limit". A set of odd numbers such as an odd limit corresponds to a harmonic series chord independent of voicing.

Temperament restriction policy on selected pages

It seems the proposal for making the temperament material more accessible has failed. To the extent possible, we should try not to obligate newcomers to learn RTT at all, so we should be especially careful to ensure that RTT aspects of tunings are presented in a more modular fashion, cleanly separated from parts intended for a general audience. It is also important to ensure that temperaments are not overemphasized in proportion to the extent they are actually used, so that newcomers will have an accurate understanding of how important RTT actually is before deciding whether to invest a lot of time to learn it.

Proposal: On a page intended to be read by a general audience and those unfamiliar with RTT,

  1. A temperament (meaning an abstract regular temperament) should not be mentioned at all (in particular temperament names should not be used to name scales or generator ranges), unless at least one of the following criteria is satisfied.
    • The temperament has been used in at least 20 compositions (for example, a 1L6s MOS in a porcupine tuning, or pumps the porcupine comma). For this purpose the composer should state that they're using the temperament; mentioning the temperament by name suffices.
    • There is a reasonably complete general-audience page about the temperament (rather than just an associated MOS pattern).
    • The temperament has been redefined as a pair (MOS period, MOS generator tuning range), or equivalently, as a MOS pattern (see below).
  2. Do not refer to tempering out a specific comma, unless it is on the list of allowed commas.
  3. When linking to a temperament name, it should link to a page describing the temperament for a general audience, not a technical temperament entry.


  1. When explaining the origin of the MOS pattern name and it is derived from a temperament name, the temperament may be named.
  2. Sections or subpages within RTT-restricting articles that are specifically dedicated to describing temperaments are not subject to this restriction policy.

Pages on which this temperament restriction policy is active should be clearly marked for editors, with the template User:IlL/Template:RTT restriction.

Pages subject to this policy include:

  • MOS patterns 10 notes or smaller
  • edos between 5edo and 39edo (inclusive)

Please join the discussion in Xenharmonic Wiki talk:Things to do#Temperament restriction policy on selected pages!


A running list of allowed temperaments:

Allowed temperaments redefined (by common use) as MOS scale structures or tuning ranges:

  • Mavila is a commonly enough used word but inaccurate enough that it should be described not as a temperament but as a scale structure, i.e. 7L 2s and its subsets or MODMOSes or extended harmony. It seems Erv Wilson defined mavila as a scale structure.
  • Similarly Blackwood should be treated not as a temperament but as a synonym of 5L 5s and its associated harmonic framework. (The 20edo 5L 5s scale is often called blackwood, though it has 420¢ thirds thus is not a good tuning for blackwood temperament).
  • Semaphore is redefined as the harder-of-14edo semiquartal tuning range (period = 2/1, generator between 1\5 and 3\14), i.e. a 5L 9s-based framework.
  • Bug is redefined as the softer-of-14edo semiquartal (period = 2/1, generator between 3\14 and 2\9), i.e. a 9L 5s-based framework.

A running list of allowed commas:

General-audience temperament pages

Categorizing edos as subgroups

Should we have a criterion for when an EDO should be said to be good for JI subgroups? Some possibilities:

  1. absolute error
  2. consistent
  3. consistent to distance 1

Whatever criterion is used, we should state that that criterion was used, in the interest of transparency.

This can be discussed in Xenharmonic Wiki talk: Things to do #Categorizing edos as subgroups.