Scholars of ritual music in the Northern Song dynasty (960–1127) keenly sensed a temporal distance from the ancient sages that manifested as a divergence from canonical norms. To maintain a distinctive intellectual heritage and counterbalance outward-facing political and economic conditions, they located cultural identity in the idealized past. Given the overwhelming discursive importance of music, ministers and rulers alike sought to restore powerful practices and thereby transcend the boundedness of the dynastic cycle. Since their principal sources about antiquity, the textual classics, provided limited practical information about music, scholars had to supplement them with technologies grounded in linguistics, mathematics, and visualizations, which I explore in this dissertation. First, I observe how ritual music prescriptions were constituted in allusive or even paronomastic scholarly language. The Confucian principle of the rectification of names, stressing an enduring concord between words and reality, gave scholars rhetorical tools with which to critique at once society and music practices. Three case studies, treating the symbolism of the pentatonic scale, the discourse of harmony in the ritual bell-knife, and the implications of pitch metaphors, illustrate how reformers interrelated sociological commonplaces and concrete reform measures. Second, contrasting parallel mathematized and unmathematized music discourses, I trace the evolving relationship between mathematical and classical learning, showing how by Northern Song times mathematics could signify invariance. This discursive adoption afforded music reformers a precision that dovetailed elegantly with the royal prerogative of standardizing metrological systems. A case study explores the resilience of the numerical measurement of the standard pitch pipe across time and the overlapping metonymy that made it resistant to metrical reorganization. Finally, I contextualize the turn toward visual epistemology in the Northern Song in terms of classical precedent, the explosion of woodblock printing, and nascent archaeology. I compare two kinds of musical images, cosmological diagrams and prescriptive illustrations of ancient instruments. Though quite distinct in assumptions, intellectual pedigree, and style, both image types demonstrate a technology surpassing the power of text to organize, preserve, and disseminate orthodox musical practice. These technologies allowed the scholars to suture time, bringing them into more direct contact with their own exalted history.