|The title Music of the Synagogue" could be accompanied by the question: which Synagogue? Since the heritage of the religious song / chant is so varied in different communities.
The oldest elements of Jewish music are the Tropes to chant the Bible. They date as early as 500 BCE and influenced all other aspects of Jewish music. The Tropes are without tempo and the singer chooses his own rhythm to them.As time passed, rhythm and notation systems developed; voices and instruments were able to sing together in harmony. The ancient Jewish / Israeli chant, which accompanied Jews to wherever they traveled, came in contact with the new music. These meetings caused different reactions, from Complete adoption of the modern musical medium to resistance to any new musical forms (therefore further developing and embellishing the chant) and all shades of in-between compromises.
Countless other influences from different cultures at different periods also shaped the sound of Synagogue music.
Some examples include the inherent style and sound of the local language and musical tradition, the levels of religious observances, the nature of interaction between the Jews and the community they lived in, fiscal conditions (could they afford a choir?) and the general condition for freedom of religious worship.
Social and religious matters, languages, local music, and new music, combined with what was the Jewish musical tradition in place at that time to form an endless variation of musical heritage.
This continuous process is to a large degree the story of Synagogue music.