Tap Dancing on Record (1926-1965)

a tap dance history project by Uwe Meusel
(please also see Content and Interview)

We are now collecting pre-orders for
The Swing Years
1926 – 1945

Please order your copy through e-mail for the time being:  

The subsription price is 199,- € incl. taxes plus shipping.  For orders from outside the EU the net price is 170 € plus shipping. Once we reach 300 subscriptions and/or find sponsors we hope to get Volume 1 published in spring 2024. 

Please support us by sharing the information through your tap dance network.
This publication is important for the art, and you can help to make it happen!

Sound of Tap Flyer 2023 English (PDF) for download


„The Sound of Tap“ presents the first 40 years of recorded tap dancing worldwide. This great American artform developed along with Jazz music from Swing to Bebop and Bigband, but also touches other genres like Blues, Cabaret, Musical Show and even classical music. At the same time the change of recording techniques from cylinder and 78rpm records to Singles (7”) and LPs in stereo sound can be traced during this period. The Sound of Tap presents a complete audio history of tap dance in all its forms of presentation, its styles and its development. You can hear the pioneers of tap dance as well as lesser known exponents on rare and sometimes unique recordings

Volume 1: The Swing Years (1926 – 1945) covers the first 20 years, with individual earlier and later titles also included. It combines American recordings from the shellac period with recordings by their European contemporaries. An entire CD is devoted to Bill ‘Bojangles’ Robinson, the father of tap dancing, including unpublished radio and private recordings. Fred Astaire’s tap recordings are presented here in their entirety for the first time and include six alternate takes. Newly researched and detailed biographies are provided for a total of 43 performers, and for the first time one gets a glimpse into the largely unknown history of tap dancing in Europe. Through the rare recordings and the life stories of the artists involved, the influences of the American protagonists on the European tap scene become clear. With its biographical content,
this treasure trove of recordings from the swing era makes an important contribution to the study and history of tap dancing. More than half of the 223 recordings are released on CD for the first time.

CDs 7 and 8 with educational recordings are dedicated to the pedagogical aspect of tap dance and related topics: Rhythm representation, notation and terminology. Here Uwe Meusel presents his system of tap dance notation, which solves a number of problems of previous notation systems. These tap dance courses are supported on additional 205 pages in PDF format, where the rare companion books with transcriptions can be found.

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