Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Beatboxing poses little risk of injury to voice

Date:
December 23, 2013
Source:
University of Illinois at Chicago
Summary:
According to new research by a voice expert, beatboxing may actually be gentler on injury-prone vocal cords.

You might think that beatboxing, with its harsh, high-energy percussive sounds, would be harder on the voice than the sweet song of a soprano. But according to new research by voice expert Dr. H. Steven Sims of the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System, beatboxing may actually be gentler on the injury-prone vocal cords. His findings were published Dec. 23 online in the Journal of Voice.

Related Articles


"While there are lots of data on how the voice is used and can be injured in singers, little is known about the structures involved in beatboxing and if it poses a risk of injury to the vocal tract," said Sims, UIC associate professor of otolaryngology and director of the Chicago Institute for Voice Care at UI Health.

Beatboxing, which first became popular in the 1980s, is a type of vocal percussion in which performers imitate drum sounds with the voice, often accompanied by rapping or singing. The number of amateur performers taking part in national and international competitions is increasing.

Sims imaged the vocal tracts of four male beatbox artists using a flexible fiber optic endoscope threaded through the nose and positioned just above the vocal apparatus. Another camera recorded the artists as they performed various isolated and combination beatbox sounds. Side by side, the videos show which vocal structures are engaged as the artists riff. Videos can be viewed at http://youtube/CzIILtatj-o

Sims found that beatboxers use the whole vocal tract to produce a range of sounds, spreading the energy among several structures and minimizing wear on any single part. They also tended to keep the glottis -- the space between the vocal cords -- open. "Keeping the glottis open means that beatboxing may actually be protective of the vocal folds," Sims said.

The beatboxers also employed the pharyngeal muscles to elongate the vocal tract to produce higher pitch sounds, Sims said, which takes some stress off the vocal cords.

"Singers rely almost exclusively on the vocal cords themselves to produce their sounds," Sims said. "So all the energy involved with singing is concentrated on these structures, which can develop scar tissue with overuse."

Sims says that some of the techniques beatboxers use could help singers relieve stress on their vocal cords. For instance, using muscles to elongate the vocal tract, he said, could help singers "get themselves a little closer to that high note, before engaging the vocal folds." The technique could be useful for Broadway singers who have up to eight shows a week and need to compete in sound volume with an orchestra.

Sims hopes to follow up this research by studying female beatboxers.

"Women use their voices differently, in part because their larynxes are smaller and are shaped differently than men's. So the results could be very interesting."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Illinois at Chicago. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Andrew Sapthavee, Paul Yi, H. Steven Sims. Functional Endoscopic Analysis of Beatbox Performers. Journal of Voice, 2013; DOI: 10.1016/j.jvoice.2013.11.007

Cite This Page:

University of Illinois at Chicago. "Beatboxing poses little risk of injury to voice." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 December 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131223114852.htm>.
University of Illinois at Chicago. (2013, December 23). Beatboxing poses little risk of injury to voice. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131223114852.htm
University of Illinois at Chicago. "Beatboxing poses little risk of injury to voice." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131223114852.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

AFP (Nov. 24, 2014) Madagascar said Monday it is trying to contain an outbreak of plague -- similar to the Black Death that swept Medieval Europe -- that has killed 40 people and is spreading to the capital Antananarivo. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins