The Soundscape Is Flat

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But not really. Richard Florida, guesting for Andrew, notes the concentration of musical talent in the country:

While conventional wisdom holds that modern technology allows musicians to work from anywhere they choose (while weakening the influence of traditional record labels and rights-management organizations), the reality is music, like many other industries, is actually becoming more concentrated and clustered over time.

In 1970, Nashville was a minor center focused on country music. By 2004, only New York and L.A. boasted more musicians. The extent of its growth was so significant that when my research team and I charted the geographic centers of the music industry from 1970 and 2004 using a metric called a location quotient, Nashville was the only city that registered positive growth. In effect, it sucked up all the growth in the music industry.

There's a cool graphic there too. Check it out.

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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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