" In 1907, Abraham Zvi Idelsohn (1882-1938), the generally acknowleged “father” of modern musicology, settled in Jerusalem. The great diversity of musical traditions he found among the Jews living in the region led to the creation of his monumental musicological collection, Thesaurus of Hebrew Oriental Melodies. Idelsohn examined the traditional melodies of Hebrew music from Jewish centers throughout the world, and found recurring motives and progressions that were not found in any other national music. This suggested a common origin for these musical phrases that went back to Israel/Palestine in the first century c.e., prior to the destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans and the Jewish Exile.
He found that these motives fell into three distinct tonal centers, which corresponded to the Dorian, Phrygian, and Lydian modes of the ancient Greeks. Each of these modes elicited a distinct psycho-emotional response. The Dorian Mode tetrachord was used for texts of an elevated and inspired nature; the Phrygian for sentimental texts, with their very human outbreaks of feeling, both of joy and grief; and the Lydian was used in composing music for the texts of lamenting and confessions of sins.
Idelsohn further categorized and defined these motives as ones that either prepared a musical phrase, began it, or conluded it. In the hopes of creating an echo of first-century authenticity on this recording, the melodies for the Dead Sea Scrolls text and the prayers and sayings of Jesus were carefully composed using the motives and melodic fragments collected by Idelsohn. It is very likely these sacred texts and prayers were chanted and sung, as that is the both the Jewish and Middle Eastern tradition. "
A CD based on this premise is available (caution, I have not heard it and don't know whether it involves kol isha or shirei agavim problems)