Of course it is okay.
My views on this have evolved, although they still have the same core of belief from the beginning since I was kid. Here is how I see things. I’m a classically trained musician. As much as music is part of my entire soul and is very important to my prayer, at the end of the day, it is not the reason why I attend mass.
When I was younger, I would become physically ill whenever I had to sit through a mass with music that sounded more like a rock concert or a folk fest rather than a sacred, solemn mass. I’d also get panicky and anxious. At first I didn’t realize that it was only happening when I attended mass with this kind of music. Once I realized this, I worked very hard to tune it out. It took a few years and a lot of mental strength to fight it. In the beginning it also made me loathe the music and felt like it was a insult and pandering to me, so I had to fight my inclination of loathing and resenting. I honestly don’t see much of that kind of music anymore happening at the parishes in my area, except for maybe the teen masses or that Catholic underground group for younger adults which I don’t attend anyway. Now, it doesn’t even affect me when I do come across a mass like that. I don’t hear the music anymore. That is how they worship and no one is telling them to not do it. I’m not in charge, so what can I do about it? Nothing.
I personally don’t think that music is appropriate for mass and believe most of it is not that great anyway - or at least the musicians playing them aren’t that great. Until the Church says “no” completely to this kind of music, it will stay. BUT, as I’ve mentioned in many other threads before, this kind of problem is NOTHING NEW in the Church. It has a long, long history of new music being introduced which wasn’t appropriate. I’ve found that there is a pattern. The Church will allow the new music to go on for a while. It will get out of hand and then the Church will eventually put a stop to it or be more stringent with what’s appropriate and what’s not.
What I have found, as well, is that as the years go on, time will dictate what is lasting and what isn’t. The Church would often insist that any new music had to be refined to be used in liturgy. This was the case with polyphony. It was originally a secular form of music and originally viewed as “liscivious” and the like. It was banned by three different popes in the very beginning until the composer Guillame de Machaut refined the style so that it was more fitting for liturgy from the secular style. I believe this is what you will eventually see with the newer music coming out today. You’ll find that some will die out and others will eventually refine themselves by the musicians and composers to be more fitting for the mass. We’re just in the transitional stage now, which is why I think in more parishes you are seeing a return to more “sacred sounding” music. I think it was far worse when I was growing up in the 80s and 90s.
Anyway, my advice is:
When you attend a mass at a church that you don’t normally go to and the music is pretty bad, don’t complain. Do your best to tune it out and focus on the primary reason why you are at mass.
If you are a musician, see if you can help out with your parish by playing an instrument, singing, etc. You might be able to collaborate with the music director (if there is one) in regards to the music selections.
If you are very upset with how the music program is going at the church either because of the musicians or the music choices, and can’t give of your time as a musician yourself, see if you can be a benefactor for these musicians or young, budding musicians to take their lessons, attend liturgical music programs and conferences in order to be up-to-date with what needs to go on at mass for the music.
If you do want to say something, don’t go to the priest about it. Having worked in many different parishes as a freelancer and a regular weekly musician, most priests would rather you go to the music director about it. But if you do go to the music director or other musician, be complimentary first. Tell them how you appreciate the work they put into the planning the liturgy (even if you may not appreciate the music choices - you can still appreciate their hard work and dedication). Then kindly go into “concerns” about certain music choices. Using negative words won’t help your case. I’ve found doing that (in all aspects of life actually) gets you what you want more so than focusing on the negative. This is because they won’t see you as an enemy (which you aren’t, of course) and won’t get their guard up so that they won’t listen to you. They will more than likely be open-minded and receptive to your concerns and suggestions.
I find that there is often a lot of complaining, but no one wants to do anything to help make a new music program to their liking work. They just want it to change magically. Some parishes don’t have the talent, the ability or the necessary education to do what is required. This sometimes requires money to get the change going. But then, no one is willing to shell the money out. I think we are sometimes short-sighted when it comes to investing our time, energy and money into things like this. We immediately think of how much it is initially going to be, but once you get the ball rolling, you may not need as much money to keep it going.
Although music isn’t necessary for our faith, let’s face it, with so many threads regarding liturgical music, it is obviously something that many people seriously value. And when a parish is fortunate enough to have talented musicians and good music for their mass, many truly appreciate it. I know I do.
Anyway, I didn’t mean for this to be a long post, so my apologies.