And here we find an answer to the question of pastoral practice: simplicity and high quality are not opposites. It is true, their paths separated later in history when high quality became inseparable from a more sophisticated musical material. The nearer we approach our own time it becomes more increasingly true that something is either popular or valuable. But this is not absolutely true for history as a whole. The farther we turn back to the Urformen, the two ‘opposite’ qualities are the more conjunct. A children’s song of three notes is a perfect “opus” in its simplicity and no evolution will invalidate it. The “evolution” of professional activity progresses towards increasingly complex qualities, and broad social strata can absorb its products only by learning. I think the conclusions for church music are clear.

 

Laszlo Dobszay, The Bugnini-Liturgy and the Reform of the Reform (2003)

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