Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 5-4-2023

Faculty Advisor(s)

Julianne O'Brien


Known to very few, there is a written notation for tap dance: Kahnotation. Our research explores the integration of Kahnotation with musical notation. Tap dance is considered to be a performing art rather than a musical instrument. Our goal for this research is to develop a musical notation, derived from Kahnotation, that uses the bass clef and treble clef to incorporate tap as an instrument into a musical score. Multiple versions of tap notation exist; however, one universal form has yet to be codified within the performing arts industry. Synthesizing previous tap notations (that focus on movement patterns) and recalibrating these methods to be used for the codified musical notation. This research bridges the gap between what it means to be a dancer versus a musician. This notation requires that both dancers and musicians are able to understand and execute the written score solely based upon the new notation. Tap dancers are the foundation of this research which correlates to our main objective: rebranding the traditional verbiage of a dancer to a musician.


Presented at the Spring 2023 Student Scholar Symposium at Chapman University.

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