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In contradiction to the theory that land was the source of all wealth, some political economists proposed the labour theory of value , according to which labour is the true source of value. Many political economists also noted the accelerating development of technology, whose role in economic and social relations was important.
Political Economy is an approach to looking at the relationships between economics and culture / society / government at and the impact that changes in either one affect the other.
In terms of the theories of thinkers and theorists such as Marx, the economy is inextricably linked to every other cultural / social / political activity. In his base-superstructure theory, the economy forms the basis for every other aspect of human culture
Base / Superstructure
In the social production of their existence, men inevitably enter into definite relations, which are independent of their will, namely relations of production appropriate to a given stage in the development of their material forces of production. The totality of these relations of production constitutes the economic structure of society, the real foundation, on which arises a legal and political superstructure and to which correspond definite forms of social consciousness.
Marx, 1859 from ‘A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy’
Base / Superstructure
Base refers to the entirety of productive relationships, not just to a particular economic position (the working class, for instance)
The superstructure varies throughout history and is frequently unevenly developed across different areas of societal activity (in art and political culture, for instance)
There is an element of reciprocity between base and superstructure — an observation that Engels made explicit by claiming that the base determined the superstructure only “in the last instance.”
How does this relate to Music?
Music, just as any other cultural product functions as a result of economics
It’s important to realise that Music does not, and never has, existed in a vacuum, separate to the concerns and confines of economics.
What are the changes that have taken place in Music’s evolution?