I was born in 1946 and was an altar boy in the 1950’s into the early 1960’s The parish I was in had 5 Masses on Sunday, one of which was a sung Mass (and no incense); the other 4 were what we called Low Masses; said a bit slower than the weekday Low Masses.
There seems to be an impression that the EF was the “smells and bells and chant” Mass. Not so, and having attended a multitude of EF Sunday Low Masses, they were not all that different from the current OF with the exceptions (as requested in the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy of some things added over time, to be removed, and some things lost over time, to be added back in), the orientation of the priest, and Latin/vernacular.
I have my doubts that anyone has done a thorough survey of how many parishes have one Sunday Mass where there is a choir of significance. The comment that polyphony is lacking does not reflect that smaller parishes “back then” didn’t have it either, and some that had it slaughtered it.
Long story shortened: we had a parish in Portland which had the OF, in Latin, with a stellar choir singing polyphonic Mass music and I would take the newly joined Catholics from our RCIA class to that Saturday night Mass. I would then go to Mass on Sunday, because my personal opinion was that the music was of performance quality, and I found it very distracting (which is purely a personal opinion). And interestingly, there were always mixed comments after the Mass; some liked it, and some didn’t.
In my own personal opinion, after almost 73 years, I find the situation currently (and I am not addressing the 1970’s or the1980’s, or even some of the 1990’s) to be about the same now as it was then. Some priests seem(ed) more reverent, some simply (went/go) through the rubrics. It may be that some now do not have the choir sung Mass in the OF now; some didn’t have it back then.
I strongly support those who wish to have the EF available, but most commentary over one versus the other gets down to opinion. Opinions are fine; but we need to allow others to have a different one than we have.