Vocal Percussion

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Vocal percussion is the art of creating sounds with one's mouth that approximate, imitate, or otherwise serve the same purpose as a percussion instrument, whether in a group of singers, an instrumental ensemble, or solo. The term "Beatboxing" is often used as a synonym for vocal percussion, but in fact is just one type, often used to accompany hip-hop music. Vocal percussion is used by most college and professional a cappella groups, in order to attempt a more complete fascimile of the pop music that these groups primarily perform. It is not necessary to attempt to imitate real instruments; in fact, vocal percussion can be used to create unique sounds. When it is used to imitate a drumset used in most rock or pop music (i.e. music with the emphasis on the 2nd and 4th beat of every four-beat measure), however, vocal percussion has three basic sounds: bass drum, snare drum, and cymbal. Variations on these sounds can be used to approximate other elements of a drum kit. A higher bass drum sounds like a floor tom; cymbal sounds can either be made short like a high hat (employing a sharp ts-ts-ts sound) or long like a crash or ride cymbal (attacked with a psh or a ksh sound).

 

[From Wikipedia]