In his 2d lecture, “The Ancient World and the Early Church,” in the Teaching Company series How to Listen to and Understand Great Music, Dr. Robert Greenberg lists three essential corollaries of the nature and use of music in the worship of the early church.
1. Music must remind the listener of divine and perfect beauty. “If it inspires only self-centered beauty, it is to be rejected. So music must be divine, not egotistic. It must prayerful, not hedonistic.”
2. Music is a servant of religion. Since non-vocal music cannot teach Christian thoughts, instrumental music must be rejected. . . . “We will not hear instruments used in the context of church music in the Christian church for about three or four hundred years.”
3. Pagan influences–such as large choruses, ‘majorish’ melodies, and dancing–must be rejected. All these “were associated with pagan festivals. These must be rejected.”