Scientists are amazed by how good beat boxers can be
Jul. 2, 2015, 2:42 PM
As any amateur rapper knows, simulating the beat of a drum or the scratch of a turntable with nothing other than the lips, voice, mouth, and tongue takes skill.
When done properly, a master can trick an audience into believing that a whole repertoire of instruments is creating a beat.
When done poorly, well, he or she probably isn't going to be the next Doug E. Fresh.
For years scientists have struggled to identify and classify the intricate sounds that emanate from a beatboxer's mouth. But a recent analysis has shown — quite literally— just how incredible the human body is at producing sophisticated noises.
After putting a beatboxing man into a real-time MRI machine — an imaging technique that allows scientists to "film" a person's insides while they are performing an action, beatboxing in this case — they recorded the man while he performed a concoction of voice-activated sounds: rapping, singing, beats, freestyling. What they saw was one of the most detailed looks at beatboxing yet.
The study subject, who spoke English, was able to produce some of the same sounds that are spread across the world's distinct language systems, Inside Science reports.
"It is absolutely amazing that a person can make these sounds — that a person has such control over the timing of various parts of the speech apparatus," phonetician Donna Erickson at the Showa University of Music and Sophia University told Inside Science.
Specifically, the sounds he made sounded similar to "clicks seen in African languages such as Xhosa from South Africa, Khoekhoe from Botswana, and !Xóõ from Namibia, as well as ejective consonants — bursts of air generated by closing the vocal cords — seen in Nuxálk from British Columbia, Chechen from Chechnya and Hausa from Nigeria and other countries in Africa," Inside Science reports.
This is cool because it shows that the sounds an artist uses to create music are the same sounds humans use for speech. The study also highlights the astonishing control beatboxers have over the unique movements of the tongue and lips, which can be useful for informing novel speech therapies....
Complete article here:http://www.businessinsider.com/how-d...-sounds-2015-7