Between the 16th and the beginning of the 19th century, Croatian congregational hymns (‘Kirchenlied’) and sacred folk songs (‘geistliches Volkslied’) played a role that significantly surpassed their primary sacred and spiritual purpose. This corpus of liturgical and paraliturgical music, distinguished from Croatian art music of the time, did not reach the heights of artistic expression, but its function was not dependent on its aesthetic merit. The most notable efforts to promote church music were associated with the Pauline Fathers, the Jesuits, and the Franciscan Friars, although these Roman Catholic orders prioritized pastoral needs over spiritual and cultural activities...
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