Okay, prior to Vatican II in a parish with multiple Sunday Masses, maybe one Mass would be regularly chanted, what would be called a High Mass. Few parishes had the resources for a Solemn High Mass, with deacon and subdeacon. The Low Mass was the Mass that was mostly celebrated on Sunday at all the other Masses apart from the principle Mass.
It was the rare parish that could pull off concert types of Masses from the greats. They may have tried for special feasts once a year. Most would chant the Mass in simple chant, some in solemn chant and others in polyphony. But chant was the template for the High Mass in the vast majority of parishes with a chanted Mass.
Then the post Vatican II relaxation on music that even allowed by the GIRM the omitting of important parts of the Mass, such as the Scriptural Introit, Offertory and Communion Antiphons in favor of hymns of some kind, chosen not by the Church but by "music ministers and their priests" became the norm. This unfortunate liberalization of what would replace official parts of the Mass, chosen by the Church through the organic development of tradition, opened the door to all kinds of genres of music and making hymns extrinsic to the Mass rather than intrinsic as the Introit, Offertory and Communion antiphons are.
Then music became entertainment especially when choirs, ensemble and groups with all their musical gear sang front and center competing with the altar, ambo and celebrant.
Rather than focusing on chanting the Mass itself by priests and laity, the focus was on hymns, usually four hymns, processional, offertory, communion and recessional and of all kinds of varieties sometimes even secular, taped usually always horrible!
And today, replacing folk and hard rock, not to mention polka Masses, we have Praise and Worship to corrupt our young Catholics' understanding of the Mass. Here's a good article on that:
The first time I ever went to a Life Teen Mass I was sixteen years old.
Father Christopher Smith with students
But as soon as the Mass started, I felt like I had stepped into a no-man's land suspended between Catholicism and some vague form of Protestantism that I as a convert had never seen before. It wasn't that the music was strange to me. I grew up with contemporary Christian music around the house and listened to it on the radio (when I wasn't listening to classical music or Latin dance music). So I knew the songs. The church was full of high schoolers and Baby Boomers and they all seemed to know and love each other.
But as the Mass unfolded, I kept noticing things that I knew very well were not in the rubrics, those pesky little red directions in the Missal that tell us how to celebrate the Mass properly. The Life Teen coordinators had decided that they would modify the Mass to make it fit whatever they deemed necessary to get the kids involved. And so there was dancing, hand-holding, and music that had nothing to do with the actual texts of the Mass.
But then, it was time for the Eucharistic Prayer. The celebrant invited all the kids to come around the altar. As the church was quite full, this was rather cumbersome and also pointless. But everyone stood up and made their way as through a mosh pit (I am showing my age, now!) to get closer to the altar. I stayed behind in the last pew. And of course, the celebrant thought that I was too shy to come up and so he encouraged me, from the altar, to join the kids. I had had enough, and so I yelled from the back pew, "No, sorry, Father, I'm a Catholic, I don't do that kind of thing," and pulled out a rosary and knelt to pray it as I watched the Eucharistic Prayer degenerate into something eerily similar to the ecstatic cults we had studied about in Ancient Greek History.
Not only did I never go back to a Life Teen Mass, I started the next Sunday to go to the Orthodox Church. There I felt like I was worshipping God and not having earnest adults try and fail to make religion relevant to me by assuming I was too young or stupid to understand real worship. It was fifteen years before I had to participate in anything similar again. By this time, I was a priest and I had been asked to preside over a Holy Hour for young people. The youth minister in this particular parish was very sensitive to the fact that Praise and Worship was not my thing, and she warned me ahead of time.
As I knelt there in front of the Blessed Sacrament, I realized something. The same people were doing the music who were doing it fifteen years before. It was the same music, the same songs that I made fun of when I was the age of the kids who were in the pews behind me. How relevant is that? But this time the kids who were there just seemed bored. I asked them afterwards what they thought of it, and one young man said, "Well, that was ok, I guess. When are we having another Latin Mass, Father?"
Of all of my friends from high school who were Life Teeners, not one of them is a practicing Catholic anymore. Will the kids today who are raised on a diet of Praise and Worship continue to practice the Faith when they are no longer of that age middle-aged people in the Church want to cater to? I don't know. But my experience has brought me to reflect on why Praise and Worship Music is not appropriate for the liturgy:
Read the whole article here.