Ratzinger on Music

A couple of email exchanges with a friend have set RC2 doing some reading (again) on recurring questions of the relationship between faith and culture. This evening she stumbled across an article from 2000 which synthesizes three articles Cardinal Ratzinger did on liturgical music (although he covers much more than simply liturgical music). Is Cardinal/Papa Ratzi an astonishingly lucid thinker? Yes. Yes he is.
The article begins with some intriguing comments Ratzinger made about "the seams that link faith and art," and then draws you in to his exploration of what the Psalms (which are the lyrics to literal liturgical music, of course) have to teach us. RC2 hasn't had time to read the whole thing yet, but so far it is too good not to share.
Here's Ratzinger's description of the present impasse:
"Since the seventeenth century the Church has seen the Caecilian reform of sacred music, the rediscovery of Gregorian chant, and the renewal of polyphonic church music. Nevertheless, as a result of cultural dislocations, “we are at a loss as to how faith can and should express itself culturally in the present age."
"The picture from the culture’s side is bleak. In the absence of religion, art becomes groundless aestheticism with neither direction nor purpose. Music in particular has split into two worlds: pop (a manufactured commodity) and rationally constructed high-brow music (an elite, degenerate form of “classical” music). A middle ground remains: “a staying at home in the familiar music that preceded such divisions, touched the person as a whole and is still capable of doing this even today. . . . Church music mostly settles in this middle ground. "
Read it with me and we'll talk more later.