… is from page 220 of my colleague Tyler Cowen’s 2007 book, Discover Your Inner Economist:
Markets are not just about the steam engine, iron foundries, or today’s silicon-chip factories. Markets also supported Shakespeare, Haydn, and the modern book superstore. The rise of oil painting, classical music, and print culture were all part of the same broad social and economic developments, namely the rise of capitalism, modern technology, rule of law, and consumer society. The Renaissance occurred when growing cities and reopened trade routes created enough wealth to stimulate demand for beautiful art. Beethoven gave music lessons and concerts to a rising middle class and later sold them sheet music; his rise required the printing press, the affordable piano, and ready travel around Europe.