Sheffield Performer and Audience Research Centre

At SPARC, we study audiences, performers and live music, using empirical approaches in order to understand arts experiences. Our aims are:

  • to explore the purposes and practicalities of empirical research with audiences and performers;
  • to consider the roles of audience members as musical participants;
  • to illustrate the musical, social and personal richness of audience experience in different contexts;
  • to investigate the perceived relationships between audiences and performers;
  • to explore musicians’ perspectives on live performance;
  • to consider the relevance of our research for arts organisations, musicians, educators and researchers.

Members of the SPARC team have conducted research with organisations including: Birmingham Contemporary Music Group; Buxton Festival; CAST, Doncaster; City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO); Classical Sheffield; Contemporary Music-Making for Amateurs (CoMA); Derbyshire County Council; Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival; the Firebird Trust; the London Chamber Orchestra; Making Music; Music in the Round; Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment; Sheffield City Council; and the Spin Jazz Club, Oxford.

See our research pages for more information about SPARC projects and publications.

If you’d like to know more, please sign up to our newsletter (using the subscription form on the right of the screen), follow us on Twitter and Facebook, or drop us an email at sparc@sheffield.ac.uk.

Who were are

Photo of Stephanie Pitts.STEPHANIE PITTS
Director of SPARC
The University of Sheffield, UK

The University of Sheffield, UK

University of Music & Drama, Hamburg

The University of Sheffield, UK

Newcastle University, UK