by Karen Lederer
Human beatboxing involves an extensive grammar of speech and non-speech sounds created by a range of articulatory methods on a number of different airstream mechanisms. The study is concerned with the production and perception of beatboxing from a phonetic point of view and it looks at the general phenomenon of how beatboxing is integrated with speech without intelligibility being lost. In order to consider beatboxing in relation to the production and perception of speech, three beatboxed sounds are studied in detail. The study looks at how they are created and how their articulation contributes to or limits the accuracy with which they imitate drum machine sounds. It was found that beatboxing sounds resemble electronic ones very closely yet still retain some characteristics of speech sounds so that they may ultimately be interpreted as either speech or non-speech or both.
[PART 1: AN INTRODUCTION TO BEATBOXING]
[PART 2: HOW THE BRAIN PERCEIVES AND PROCESSES VOCAL SOUNDS]
[PART 3 : THE PERCEPTION OF BEATBOXING]
[PART 4 : THE ELECTRONIC AND VOCAL PRODUCTION OF SOUND]
[PART 5 : METHODOLOGY]
[PART 6 : RESULTS AND ANALYSIS]
[PART 7 : GENERAL CONCLUSIONS]
[PART 8 : LIMITATIONS AND SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY]
[THE PHONETICS OF BEATBOXING: APPENDIX 1]
[THE PHONETICS OF BEATBOXING: APPENDIX 2]
[THE PHONETICS OF BEATBOXING: REFERENCES]
In particular I would like to thank Gavin Tyte for his invaluable advice on beatboxing, the use of his beatboxing samples and his website, without all of which this study would not have been possible. I would also like to thank Dr Barry Heselwood for his continued support and advice and Mr Lee Davidson for his help in the early stages. Thanks also go to the team at mic(ism), Dan Stowell, Dave Bryan, Sholto, Shlomo, Rahzel and all the other beatboxers who have helped me with this study in various ways.