I think the Bible defines the spiritual gifts and they don't include music.
The gifts of the Spirit are a new, present age thing. He didn't need to give the church a "gift" of music because it is always there in every culture since time began! Music and musicians have been around much longer than the church age!
I think you are correct there Stevo, I have always thought of music whether singing or playing as a service to the congregation. Much like setting up the church or making coffee for others or looking after the parking area etc. Each person can be naturally gifted in that area or just like doing it.
But there are those who are just blessed beyond the natural for a purpose to be sure. They might be new to playing/ singing/ dancing but what they do just reaches the right people a certain way; just awesome. But mostly, almost every musician I know of has to practice and work at their "talent" or "desire" to play/sing etc.
I don't think that music is a spiritual gift, but I do think of it as a gift from God, much the same as other talents, like the ability to paint etc. One could argue that these are natural talents, fair enough, but I believe that we shouldn't waste our talents.
I believe that God can, and will, do His work through music (amongst other things) if it is our desire to serve Him through our talents.
I don't think we should limit the term 'spiritual' to playing in church, in my opinion, some secular music can be every bit as spiritual and enhance the other.
God seems to love music, it's all around His throne. I would prefer to say that music transcends spiritual gifts since it's been around since before the church was invented. And to your point, since God seems to love it, he must love it when we develop our abilities and must be displeased when we don't.
But I wouldn't want to say that it's as important or more important than spiritual gifts since they are the tools which God has given to the church for official building up.
I like what you say about music being around before the church, it's true! Was it around around before the universe was created? I'm thinking of the angels in heaven. That's your domain Stevo, I get baffled about creation and my brain works on a simple system when it comes to all that!
I have never thought about music in terms of comparing it's importance to the spiritual gifts, but I do think it is a gift that has 'permission' to be used within the Church. I can't say that about some of the other spiritual gifts that are often suppressed and not be 'allowed' to flourish.
Music is another aspect of the creation being like the creator. It is a natural gift, like the ability to reason or love: God can take any of those things and enhance them, but there's nothing inherently 'spiritual' about them. For this reason I would not consider comparing charismata to music - they are of a different order, and clearly not natural. I would also suggest that they are not a new, present age thing, since people clearly exercised gifts such as prophesy in old testament times, although the way in which the Spirit has been poured out IS a new thing.
I would encourage the original poster to see that music is not worship, just like a Christmas tree is not the decorations. It can be, however, something for us to hang the worship of our hearts on for God's pleasure.
You could extend the analogy to ask what kind of music. No one would question a Christian who was the member of a classical orchestra. But for some reason, we feel compelled to question whether or not a Christian can participate in a big band touring orchestra.
We should always ask whether or not behavior is right before God, but we should also learn to discern what is truly "bad" and what is merely disliked by some.
I can't see a prob with either of your questions. I think it would be a sorry state of affairs if we only got involved with Christian people and Christian projects. Not a healthy place to be in my book, in fact, it would positively drive me crazy if I were only involved with Christian people. It is more often than not the 'non Christians' that help keep me grounded and in the real world.