Listening Activity #18 - The Beatboxer & The Orchestra

A beatbox was originally a literal box that DJ's and producers in the 1970's would use. As hip-hop developed in the 1970's and people started rapping, others started to imitate drum sounds so that they could accompany rappers. People like Scratch, Doug E. Fresh, Rahzel, and Kenny Muhammed are just a few who helped to make beatboxing what it is today. Many people might think that beatboxing is only about improvising, and you don't really have to learn much. I think this video shows that Kenny had to listen and practise in order to perform this, just as much as the violin, viola or cello players!

  • Have you ever seen a performance like this before?

  • Where do Kenny and the Orchestra use call and response?

  • What happens at 2:53?

  • What do you think the audience are thinking?

  • Are there many dynamic changes in performance?

Try and copy Kenny! Is it harder than you thought to beatbox like that?