« Following the French Revolution, as institutionalized religion generally declined in Europe and beyond, many artists turned away from rigid Christian dogma to explore horizons of spirituality aimed at enhancing the mystical component of religious experience. The last two centuries have seen many different redefinitions of aesthetic concepts binding non-dogmatic spirituality and sound. In the 19th century, the syncretic unity of text, music, and ritual in sacred art gradually weakened, leading to new relationships between aesthetic and religious elements. We find multiple examples of sacred elements in secularized forms and practices, such as allusions to religious or quasi-spiritual elements in secular music. The 20th century witnessed a significant decrease of sacred music dedicated to the rituals of an official religion, a trend that arguably continues today. However, like their nineteenth-century counterparts, many composers continued to forge close interactions with the sphere of spirituality, often concealing these references in the innermost layers of their openly secular and worldly poetic universes. »
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