Purchases you have made from the iTunes Store should in most cases be in the Cloud (unless the rights owner has had it removed or you are in a country which does not permit this). Other music such as CDs you have ripped are only there if you subscribe to iTunes Match.
Downloading (using iOS or computer) past purchases from the App Store, iBookstore, and iTunes Store - http://support.apple.com/kb/ht2519 - enabled with iTunes 10.3 and newer; not all media formats are available in all countries (see: iTunes in the Cloud, iTunes Match, and iTunes Radio availability by country - http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5085); apps, books (not audiobooks), music, t.v. shows, and movies (some - not all studios have permitted this). Downloading previously purchased movies and TV shows requires iTunes 10.6 or later. Discontinued items not available. For items not included in the iCloud list (e.g., ringtones, audiobooks), or locations or computer systems where iCloud is not (yet?) available, you only get one download per fee paid. Apple recommends, "You always back up your iTunes library in the event that a purchased item is no longer available on the iTunes Store," (http://support.apple.com/kb/ht2519).