Timothy D. Taylor
This chapter attempts to reinstate capitalism as the transcendent category of analysis for music production. This new capitalism is marked by the ascendance of the new petite bourgeoisie. This class promulgates an ideology of the hip and the cool and has an outsized role in the production of culture, since most musicians today are forced to permit their music to be used in commercials. The new class is comprised of new kinds of cultural workers, who can deploy their taste as music supervisors, choosing music for film and broadcasting in an era when more music is more easily available. Another aspect of the new capitalism is that workers can be compensated less, or not at all. In the realm of advertising composition is increasingly outsourced, as it simple to upload video to servers around the world. Users enter data on songs in online databases and their search habits are recorded and used to sell more products, all without compensation.
Much of my work has been concerned with attempting to apprehend the present moment – a moment that has been characterized in many ways in the couple of decades to which I paid attention: postmodern, late capitalist, a network society, an information age, an era of globalization, neoliberalism – and many more things. It has long seemed to me, however, that the primary category ought to have something to do with capitalism, not in a vulgar Marxist sense of the economic base “determining” ...