Music & The Creative Class: How Music Can Transform America’s Cities

Creative class sign Part 2 (Read Part 1 Here) When Richard Florida wrote The Rise of the Creative Class in 2005 music was barely a blip on the social economist's radar. Now Florida and his colleagues are beginning to recognize music and the businesses and professionals that follow and service it as "fruit fly" industries – early indicators of new technologies, new business models, and the economy in general.

"Musicians are quintessential examples of
free-agent workers, mixing income and seeking out affordable, creative
places to do their work. And the concentration of musical talent and
firms into clusters and scenes – in an industry which requires little
in the way of capital infrastructure and fixed costs – can help us
better understand geographic clustering across a wide variety of

Proof that clusters of musicians or "scenes" can transform a community abound. Berlin, London, Los Angeles and New York were once, and to some degree still are, in part defined by the music created and musicians that live there. More recently Nashville, Austin and Brooklyn have all benefited from the music. 

Others from Memphis to Mussel Shoals to the Blue Ridge Mountains around Roanoke, VA are using their musical heritage to try to revitalize their cities and regions.  In some areas new scenes are  also being built from the remnants of the old.

But just as music matters to cities; cities also matter to music. Even in an age when messages and mixes travel around the globe in seconds, where musicians and other members of  the creative class live and create matters.

Read Part 1: Music & The Creative Class: A Fruit Fly Industry
Next: Why Where Music Is Made Matters

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