SRPP: Human Beatboxing: A physiological approach to voice production

Alexis Dehais-Underdown (LPP)
02 December 2022, 12h0013h30

Human Beatboxing (HBB) is a musical technique produced by vocal tract movements. Contrary to speech, in HBB, gestures and patterns are not restricted by linguistic constraints. Thus, new articulatory patterns of different level of complexity emerge. This talk will focus on the physiology of phonatory behaviors in Beatboxing. Even though production goals and sound patterning differ between speaking and beatboxing, physiological principles do not. This work is the first to propose an analysis of beatboxing voice by exploring the musical repertoire of electronic bass imitation by 5 beatboxers using laryngoscopic, aerodynamic and acoustic data. First, a description of the source and filter characteristics is given. Then a pilot study using Kreiman et al. (2014) model of voice production was carried on 5 phonatory behaviors : modal voice, the “Chest Bass” (egressive (ary)epiglotto-pharyngeal voice), the “Inward Bass” (ingressive aryepiglottic voice with open glottis), the “Throat Bass” (egressive ventricular voice) and a “Vibration Bass” (egressive breathy aryepiglottic voice). Results show a large panel of phonatory behaviors based on the production of periodic and aperiodic components at the source. Resonances shows configurations similar to posterior vowels of linguistic systems. Kreiman’s model of voice allowed to distinguish phonatory behaviors. The study of beatboxing voice revealed an extensive use of laryngeal articulators associated with a fine phonetic control of voice production.