Music in the Old Testament

The early church was Jewish and so their musical influence came from the Old Testament. At the time of King David music as part of worship was rich and sometimes extravagant as the people sought to worship God with their best skills. In the temple we read that there were 4,000 Levites appointed to praise God with instruments (1 Chronicles 23:5) and 288 trained singers to praise God with their voices (1 Chronicles 25:7). It must have been some spectacle.

The Jewish people worshipped God with harps (Revelation 5:8), stringed instruments (Habakkuk 3:19), horns, trumpets, loud-sounding cymbals, lyres (1 Chronicles 15: 28-29), timbrels and tambourines (Exodus 15:20), gittith (a stringed instrument) (Psalm 8), instruments of ten strings (Psalm 92:3), pipes (Psalm 150:4), and resounding cymbals(Psalm 150:5).

Certainly music was a vital part of biblical life, as David expresses so well in Psalm 150:

Praise the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness. Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, praise him with timbrel and dancing, praise him with the strings and pipe, praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals. Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.  Praise the LORD.