Exactly what do we mean when we say “Europe”? If a friend were to tell you, “I’m going to Europe this summer,” he or she would probably mean “Western” Europe, especially the United Kingdom (casually called Britain), France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and perhaps Switzerland and Austria. When a news reporter uses the term European Union, he or she refers not to all European nations but to a specific group of countries (which might come to include Turkey, a country not considered geographically part of Europe). In music history courses, when we refer to “European music,” we mostly mean the “classical” tradition of “Western Europe.” What, then, is Europe: a political entity, a geographical unit, a cultural area, or all of these things?