The relation between practical and spiritual spheres in music is obvious, if only because it demands ears, finger, consciousness and intellect.
In music, as I find myself forever saying, things don't get better or worse: they evolve and transform themselves.
Opera once was an important social instrument -- especially in Italy.
With Rossini and Verdi people were listening to opera together and having the same catharsis with the same story, the same moral dilemmas. They were holding hands in the darkness. That has gone. Now perhaps they are holding hands watching television.