– Courtesy of Wikipedia –

Beatboxing is a form of vocal percussion which primarily involves the art of producing drum beats, rhythm, and musical sounds using one’s mouth, lips, tongue and voice. It may also involve singing, vocal imitation of turntablism, the simulation of horns, strings, and other musical instruments. Beatboxing is connected with hip hop culture although it is not limited to hip hop music.

Prehistory:

Vocal imitation of percussion sounds has existed for a very long time. One tradition is thought to have originated in India several thousand years ago: the tradition of bol, and the Chinese developed Kouji, a type of vocal performing arts. These had little or no relation with hip hop, however, and have no direct connection to modern Eastern Hip Hop. Some African traditions use performers’ bodies (clapping, stomping) to make musical sounds to maintain a steady musical pace. They made sounds using their mouths by loudly breathing in and out, which is done in beatboxing today. An American style called eefing first emerged in rural Tennessee near the beginning of the 20th century.

Hip-Hop Origins:

Beatboxing in hip hop originated in 1980s. Its early pioneers include Doug E. FreshBuffy from the Fat BoysWise (Stetsasonic) . Credits of the three include Doug E. Fresh for being the self proclaimed first “human beatbox,” Buffy for helping perfect the art & Wise for taking it to a level that inspired other individuals to want to be a human beatbox. Wise with his human turntable technique inspired a whole new fan base of human beatboxers. The term “beatboxing” is derived from the mimicry of the first generation of drum machines, then known as beatboxes.

Modern Beatboxing:

Beatboxing’s current popularity is due in part to artists such as Vaughan Chadderton, RahzelKenny Muhammad, and Matisyahu, who have promoted the art form across the world. Websites such as Humanbeatbox.com, BeatBox.Be, BeatboxWorld and YouTube also contribute substantially toward raising the profile of beatboxing.

Many a cappella singing groups have one or more members using this technique, especially when performing songs which have a heavy percussive element, in order to closely mimic or duplicate the original sound.

One of the modern singers and musicians who started to add his own sounds to his music was Michael Jackson in songs like Billie JeanTabloid Junkie, and Who Is It. Most of the time, he admitted that he needed a tape recorder to record this sound that came to his mind just to not forget them and around that base built the rest of the tune.

In 2005 the world championship of beatboxing was organised in Leipzig, Germany. The participants came from all over the world, and included Tom Thumb, and Joel Turner (Australia), White Noise (Ireland), RoxorLoops (Belgium), Poizunus(Canada), Faith SFX (UK). After several heats of beatbox battles, the final between RoxorLoops (Belgium) and Joel Turner (Australia) was decided. The five judges had a difficult time picking a winner and called for two extra rounds after which Joel Turner won the world championship.

Recently, a 2009 beatboxing world championship took place where over 52 beatboxers and many female beatboxers competed for the title. The female British winner Bellatrix (UK), the male Swiss winner, ZeDe (SUI), and the band Under Kontrol (FR) are now the holders of the largest beatboxing title.

Notation:

As with other musical disciplines, some form of musical notation or transcription may sometimes be useful in order to describe beatbox patterns or performances. Sometimes this takes the form of ad hocphonetic approximations, but is occasionally more formal.

Standard Beatbox Notation (SBN) was created by Mark Splinter and Gavin Tyte of Humanbeatbox.com in 2006 as an alternative to International Phonetic Alphabet transcription, which had been used sparingly before then.

– More info on Beatboxing check humanbeatbox.com & Beatboxbattle.com

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