The goal of this project is to create an ordered list of works that we recommend. Please help us!
Here's the least you need to know in order to vote:
1. Make sure you're at the end of the thread, so that you can see the board (the list of works we're voting on) as of the most recent vote. See who cast that vote, and write "After [that person] in your post."
2. Identify the work on the list that you most want to recommend, and your second choice. Then identify the work on the list that you least want to recommend. Type the names of three works in order, like this: "Beethoven Symphony #5 / Bach Goldberg Variations / Brahms Piano Trio #1."
3. If you can copy and paste the board, then please do so, adding 2 points to your first choice, 1 point to your second choice, and subtracting one point from the one you least want to recommend. But if you cannot do that, then just post the names of the works in order (as in step #2) and someone else will copy and paste the list for you.
4. Wait at least 9 hours and vote again!
Very important points:
1. None of us have perfect knowledge of classical music: we're all voting with more or less knowledge and more or less ignorance. Please participate by voting for the works you love and want to recommend to others. People might disagree with your choices, but please be patient and persistent - your participation will make our list better.
2. The negative vote is necessary to curb excessive idiosyncrasy, but if people vote against a work you support, and you can't change their mind, don't despair: it will probably be a more popular choice later in the project. Try to remember that this is supposed to be fun.
3. This is our list, not supposed to be the official objective canon of Western art music. A different group of people would create a different list – even the same group of people at a different time would create a different list – but this is our list at this point in our lives, and we value everyone’s participation.
Here are some more details:
1. If you want to add a work to the board for us to vote on, please check the second post (just below these rules) and the most recent list of recommendations (should within the last few pages of the thread) to make sure we haven't already recommended it. (I know that's not really clear. Sorry. If you need to, just ask for help. We're friendly.) If we haven't recommended it already, then when you vote, use your +2 or your +1 to add the work to the list with 2 or 1 points.
2. When a work on the board has 7 more points than any other work on the board, it is recommended. We remove it from the board and post an updated list of recent recommendations. Its place on that list is not subject to further voting, and it doesn't need to be added to the board again.
3. If a work is voted down to zero points, it is removed from the board, but it can be added again at any time if someone votes for it.
4. Please remain calm, and try to cooperate with the other voters. In order for a work to reach the 7 point lead needed for recommendation, frequently we will need to cooperate and negotiate about our votes; for instance, "I’ll vote for the Goldberg Variations now if you’ll vote for the Diabellis next.” A third participant might offer her support if you switched the order. And so on. This discussion is an important part of the process. The nature of collaboration like this is that none of us will agree with all of the group's choices. Please remember that it's a project, not a competition. Please be willing to compromise and negotiate, and please remain polite to each other!
Even more details for the curious (you don't need to know this stuff at first):
1. We'll consider works such as Chopin’s Nocturnes as a single work if they are almost always recorded as a group, if they are not collectively too large - not more than 2 or 3 hours - and if the individual components wouldn't merit much consideration alone. These are vague guidelines because no very firm rule will fit all cases, so the community of participants can discuss any particular ambiguous choices.
2. If someone appears to have made a minor error in their vote, we can fix it just by posting the correct list. We should consider the indication of how the participant intended to vote (that is, the thing like “Beethoven 5 / Rite of Spring / Brahms Piano Trio”) as authoritative, and if the board they post doesn’t jive with that, then we should fix the board. If a vote is so erroneous that we can't figure out how to fix it in accordance with the voter’s evident wishes, then we'll just skip it. If you find out your vote has been skipped, you are eligible to vote again immediately.