The root cause is the underestimation of the role of music in the liturgy and religion in general. Today the Church finds herself “at home” in the movements, activities and appearances of secular society, and values music only in the measure it can be utilized in this context. Music in this view has no value of its own, no value in building bridges between the Christian soul and God, between the Church and her Divine Head. What Guardini wrote about the liturgy as a whole, namely that it has meaning and not aim or purpose, should also be true for its music to some extent. In this life there are things whose purpose we learn, and then we work with them according to their own nature. The pianist, for instance, knows that Bach’s music contributes to the spiritual good of mankind; but the moment he sits down at the piano, he concentrates upon fingering and touch. The Council pointed to the place and role of music in the liturgy and Church life. And so the duty of church music is to fill this place by enjoying a certain independence. But it is not allowed to do that.

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

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