The commemoration of St. Cecilia dates back before the 14th century, but November 22nd was formally celebrated as a day to celebrate musicians everywhere around 1570.
Ironically, St. Cecilia is the patron saint of music and musicians because of the disdain she felt for the music played at her wedding celebration: “While the musical instruments sounded, she sang in her heart to the Lord alone, saying, ‘Let my heart and my body be undefiled, O Lord, that I may not be confounded'” (Ryan 318).
Raised a Christian in a noble Roman household, St. Cecilia has no desire for the wedding that has been arranged for her. On the night of the nuptials she explains her faith to her bridegroom Valerian, saying that an angel has crowns for them both if he will respect her virginity and become a Christian. Valerian then goes to Pope Urban for baptism and subsequently brings his brother into the faith.
The story continues with the martyrdom of the brothers, which is delayed by the conversion of the executioner Maximus and his men. Then the judge Almachius orders that Cecilia be scalded to death in her bath. When this fails, he orders her beheaded. This is only partly successful, so she lives three more days, time enough to preach the faith, convert multitudes, and give her goods to the poor.