The book thematicises the particular cultural discourse of classicism - the ostensible imitation of the ancients - as it pervaded the contemplation and practice of music, whereas musical studies have hitherto treated classicism as a more or less accidental element in certain repertoires of the time. The pervasive influence of classicism on music - as on other forms of culture - is analysed and interpreted as ideological in nature. The classicist ideology - the legitimation of practice, including that of political power, by invoking an imagined cultural past - reorders and reassembles the cultural phenomena themselves. The recognition of this process is part of the fun of this book. There will be retrospective narration's outlining the adoption of particular classicist discourses in the Middle Ages and by Renaissance humanists and patrons. The middle chapters will explore all kinds of music and musical culture in any European country and consideration will be given to cultural, political, social and economic trends 'outside' music. Thus the book attempts to build bridges or reconnection between music and non-musical issues.