Throughout the Bible and the Talmud there are countless descriptions of music making and singing addressing praise to God. Perhaps the most famous collection is the Psalms of David (thought to have been written at some stage between 1037 and 967 BC), many of which exhort people to give praise to God.
In the Old Testament references to singing are often associated with the liturgies of the Temple. The first book of Chronicles, Chapter 15, tells how when David established the Temple he appointed for there to be music making in it:
And David spake to the chief of the Levites to appoint their brethren to be singers with instruments of musick, psalteries and harps and cymbals, sounding, by lifting up the voice with joy.
Evidence of hymn singing is found in the New Testament. The Gospels of St Matthew (Chapter 26) and St Mark (Chapter 14) tell us that the Last Supper concluded with a hymn. This suggests that hymn singing was associated with Passover meals, and it is thought this hymn would have Hallel – a Jewish hymn of Praise taken from Psalms 113 – 118.