The music of Christmas has always brought joy, awe, and festivity. Christmas music has evolved as traditions have changed. However, the meaning of the holiday has remained. Here is a short history of Christmas music from the Middle Ages.
The first specifically Christmas hymns that we know of appear in fourth-century Rome. Like all Christian music of the Middle Ages, these were Latin hymns. Specifically, they were used for liturgical purposes. Instruments were never used. Therefore, all songs were performed a cappella. Christmas music was not sung outside of churches.
St. Ambrose of Milan wrote Veni Redemptor Gentium (“Come, Redeemer of the nations”), in the fourth century. He composed it for the Advent season. Accordingly, it especially signifies the holiness of Jesus of Nazareth.