Coughing and Clapping: Investigating Audience Experience: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Coughing and Clapping: Investigating Audience Experience

1st Edition

Edited by Karen Burland, Stephanie Pitts


226 pages | 15 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2016-11-08
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Coughing and Clapping: Investigating Audience Experience explores the processes and experiences of attending live music events from the initial decision to attend through to audience responses and memories of a performance after it has happened. The book brings together international researchers who consider the experience of being an audience member from a range of theoretical and empirical perspectives. Whether enjoying a drink at a jazz gig, tweeting at a pop concert or suppressing a cough at a classical recital, audience experience is affected by motivation, performance quality, social atmosphere and group and personal identity. Drawing on the implications of these experiences and attitudes, the authors consider the question of what makes an audience, and argue convincingly for the practical and academic value of that question.


'… a worthy addition to the relatively sparse literature on audience psychology.' Opera Today ’Coughing and Clapping … stimulates the reader to consider areas of practice which are familiar but also reveals the less familiar; it invites the reader to question established values and norms in a range of performance settings; it challenges the reader to explore his/her own role within performance, and also to look forward to developments in both research and practice which this highly-recommended volume will surely facilitate and inspire’. Musicae Scientiae ’This excellent, thought-provoking collection … . A key strength of this book is its broad definition of the performance event, including anticipation before and the sharing of memories long afterwards. Its variety of methodologies and approaches to studying the live encounter is also a valuable contribution, and there are many methods of enquiry here which would transfer well to the study of theatre audiences … This is a trajectory of enquiry and activism it is vital to follow further, and in more than music - in the wider arena of the arts as a whole’. Participations: Journal of Audience & Reception Studies

About the Editors

Karen Burland is an Associate Professor in Music Psychology at the University of Leeds. Her published research focuses on jazz audiences and their engagement in live performances in different contexts; the environmental conditions leading to childhood musical success and the professional development of musicians during career transitions; professional and amateur musical identities; and music therapists’ use of music technology in therapeutic settings. Karen is a member of the SEMPRE committee and Reviews Editor for British Journal of Music Education. Stephanie Pitts is a Professor of Music Education at the University of Sheffield, UK and author of A Century of Change in Music Education (Ashgate, 2000), Valuing Musical Participation (Ashgate, 2005) and Chances and Choices: Exploring the Impact of Music Education (2012).

About the Series

SEMPRE Studies in The Psychology of Music

The theme for the series is the psychology of music, broadly defined. Topics include (i) musical development at different ages, (ii) exceptional musical development in the context of special educational needs, (iii) musical cognition and context, (iv) culture, mind and music, (v) micro to macro perspectives on the impact of music on the individual (from neurological studies through to social psychology), (vi) the development of advanced performance skills and (vii) affective perspectives on musical learning. The series presents the implications of research findings for a wide readership, including user-groups (music teachers, policy makers, parents) as well as the international academic and research communities. This expansive embrace, in terms of both subject matter and intended audience (drawing on basic and applied research from across the globe), is the distinguishing feature of the series, and it serves SEMPRE’s distinctive mission, which is to promote and ensure coherent and symbiotic links between education, music and psychology research.


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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MUSIC / General