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Since its founding in 2001, the Sonic Arts Research Centre (SARC) has become a globally recognised institute for music-based practice and research, broadly conceived. SARC brings together researchers in composition, performance, musicology, computing for musical applications, acoustics and perception, sound recording, interaction design, broadcast, critical improvisation studies, sound art, aesthetics and media theory. A purpose designed building with a state-of-the-art Sonic Laboratory and multichannel studios was opened by Karlheinz Stockhausen in 2004 during the Sonorities Festival, which is hosted biennially by SARC. The Centre's core membership combines staff who work in the SARC building with colleagues based in the nearby Music building, home to the Harty Room concert hall equipped with two full-concert Steinway grand pianos, a double-manual harpsichord, chamber organ and many percussion and specialist instruments.

SARC also includes associate members based in computer engineering, anthropology, psychology and architecture who are involved in research collaborations and co-supervision of PhD students, to form a research environment with over 60 academics and postgraduate students. SARC regularly hosts visiting artists and scholars and has ongoing research collaborations with international institutions including Stanford University, University of São Paulo, IRCAM, Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, McGill University, Bach-Archiv Leipzig, Stony Brook University, Orpheus Institute and University of Oxford. SARC also has formal professional partnerships with high profile local artists and ensembles including the Ulster Orchestra, Hard Rain Soloist Ensemble and Duke Special, of which the latter two are currently employed as Industry Professionals. To find out more about research at SARC, please explore our staff profiles as well as current and recent projects.


The home of the Sonic Laboratory

SARC houses multi-channel studios, computer labs, a motion capture lab, a fabrication lab and the World's first Sonic Laboratory

People at SARC
People at SARC

SARC's network of people include academics, undergraduates and postgraduates collaborating in world class multidisciplinary research and education.

Our researchers have developed partnerships with organisations that include the DTS, Hewlett Packard, the Metropolitan Arts Centre Belfast (the MAC), as well as higher education institutions includingIRCAM, Stanford University and University of Michigan.

People at SARC
Our Research
Our Courses
Sonic Arts Research Centre
Tel: +44(0)28 9097 4867  Email:

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