Beatboxing is known as a type of vocal percussion that is often associated with the musical genre hip hop, although it can be used in a broad sense as well. Beatboxing is considering an art form whereby individuals produce drum beats, musical sounds, and rhythm using their mouth, tongue, lips, voice, throat and nasal passage.

Beatboxing has many influences. One influence stems from Indian tradition called “bol” (from the world “bolna,” which means to speak). Indians would define syllables and create different rhythms corresponding to classical percussive instruments. A similar tradition in Ancient China was walled “Kouji.” Many African performers, dating back to tribal times until today, use their entire body, not only their mouths, but also clapping and stomping to create sound.

The expression “beatboxing” comes from first generation drum machines, called beatboxes. Beatboxing done by individuals started in the 1980s by hip hop artists including Doug E. Fresh, the asserted “first human beatbox”, Swifty – the first one to utilize the technique of inhale sound, Buffy – who assisting in perfecting techniques of beatboxing, and Wise, an artist who notably contributed to the proliferation of beatboxing.

Beatboxing Nowadays

Today, beatboxing has gained massive popularity due to such artists like Kenny Muhammad and Matisyahu. There are also many websites dedicated to teaching individuals how they can become beatboxers. Beatboxing can be seen everywhere, especially in numerous a cappella groups with multiple members and while performing songs with elements of heavy percussion.

Beatboxing is currently spreading in the twenty-first century. 2003 saw the creation of the International Human Beatbox Convention in London, and in 2005, the world became audience to the World Championship of Beatboxing in Leipzig, Germany. Now there are beatbox contests in every region of the world.


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