This study looks at the ways in which music is analysed in the present time and the present context. It places the observer central to the overall picture and examines the individual’s relationship to the types of compositions produced and the individual’s relationship to the ways in which compositions can be perceived and understood. The process of composition is analysed in terms of spectatorship and reception: a social hierarchy is acknowledged which includes aspects of the contemporary composer’s role as a teacher- philosopher-hero interacting with the practical concerns of training, competition, and the marketplace. The approach taken is an interdisciplinary one (incorporating, in a non- technical fashion, theories of perception) and examines the ways in which viewpoints of analysis of music carry with them the seeds of their own conclusions. The aim of the study is not to give a complete description of all issues that may be raised under the banner of composition-perception- analysis, but to make reference to some aspects that may be worth noting in the course of analytical work, and to suggest a wider context in which to place analytical results.