Early music practices could be traced to the Old testament time (OT). People in the ancient eastern world had various musical instruments that were used for religious, social, communal purposes.
In Gen. 4:21, Jubal was the father of those who play musical instruments. The Patriarchs lived in a culture where music was used during ceremonies. In ancient Egypt, different stringed-like instruments were used in their festivals. Israel sang at the red sea and Mariam led the women to sing with a tambourine. Eks. 15:20. Music was developed during the reign of king David.
He was a string player and Israel’s Singer of songs. He organised the musicians and singers to play to the Lord as they were bringing the Ark of Covenant to Jerusalem. 1Chr.15. Solomon continued the music praxis as he organised musicians and singers at the inauguration of the temple in Jerusalem. 2 Chr. 5 -7. Some of the biblical psalms are songs and chants accompanied with various musical instruments.
However, there was discontinuation of music practices at the temple when Israel went into exile. Psalm137:1-4. New Testament(NT)-Early church Music in the NT was scarcely performed. The synagogue worship entails reading of scrolls, singing psalms… At that time, Israel was under the Roman rule. During the apostles’ time, there were persecutions everywhere.
They had few singing at fellowship centers and homes. Paul and Silas sang in the prison. Acts 16:25-35. Paul encouraged believers to sing and make melody in their hearts..Col. 3:16; Eph. 5:19. The early church fathers continued with the worship practices of the NT with less music, though, using psalms, creeds, chants and responsorial liturgy. Organ was introduced to accompany songs through the middle ages. Music notation was developed to write down the composed songs and music.
From 13th century upward, witnessed the emergence of many western composers and performers: Sebastian Bach, Amadeus Mozart, Friedrick Handel, Chopin. Orchestra music and many other instruments of music were invented and modified from their earliest forms. Such as Violin, horns brass, organ, wooden flutes etc.
Christians all over the world use music in worship, expressing their love, commitment and service to God; also applying biblical themes in psalms, and spiritual songs written by our inspired authors in the OT and NT.