Friday Find: Beatboxing Flute?

You do know what beatboxing is, right? If you have never heard of it you probably aren’t alone, but please allow us to blow you mind. Beatboxing is a form of vocal percussion taken to a very high level of virtuosity. Beatboxing has it routs in vocal art forms out of Indian bol and Chinese Kouji, both which are thousands of years old. However, modern beatboxing has a much more contemporary influence.

Modern History

Beatboxing’s modern history was pioneered when members of hip-hop groups like Doug E. Fresh. Popular with vocal acappella groups, beatboxing exploded in various vocal circles. Mixing with other influences from hip-hop’s electronic “beat boxes” and turn table like sounds, beatboxing has continued to morph over the years and now even has a form of notation all of its own.

Beatboxing Flute?

That brings us to today’s Friday Find, the beatboxing… flute? Since beatboxing takes it sound mostly from explosive vocal sounds it blends easily with the physic behind playing the flute. The above video is a great example of how beatboxing can naturally enhance the flute playing, though I cringe to think how difficult it must be to maintain an embouchure while dropping the beat.

Flute beatboxing has become very popular and you can find dozens of videos online. It even led to the National Flute Association commissioning a piece entitled The Three Beats for Beatbox Flute by Greg Pattillo (2011). In this second video you can listen to 15 year old Annie Wu, 2011 National Flute Association High School Competition Winner, perform the piece.

Sure, we gave you two videos this week, but we are bit behind so consider it a much owed favor. See you next week!

The Friday Find is a weekly feature of and features videos that would appeal to music educators, folk historians, and music lovers in general. You can view an archive of our Friday Finds here. If you would like to suggest a Friday Find please contact our Media Secretary via our contact form and include the subject Friday Find Suggestion.

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