Did You Hear?  Beat Boxers, and Guitarists Hear Music Differently

Did You Hear? Beat Boxers, and Guitarists Hear Music Differently

Everyone enjoys a good song.  Some regard music as pleasant background noise, while others use it as the soundtrack to their very existence. The way we consume our music is just as varied as the tunes themselves. We all have our own unique relationship with music. But did you ever wonder “What does music sound like to someone else?” According to research, beatboxers, and guitarists hear music differently.

Researches at the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience found that while a beatboxer is hearing a song, the area of his brain that controls his mouth becomes more active. When a guitarist hears the instrument being played, the region that controls his hands is triggered. “Professional beatboxers and guitarists also display neural patterns typical of these expert classical musicians” said Dr Saloni Krishnan the studies first author.

The researchers brought in 60 people, split evenly between professional musicians, non-musicians, professional beat boxers and professional guitarists. Each musicians had an average of 8 to 9 years of experience.

While inside an MRI scanner, the participants listened to beat box and guitar tracks that were produced for the study, so that they wouldn’t sound familiar. The beatbox track was produced by Reeps One (Harry Yeff), who co-authored the paper.

Yeff noted, “This study is one example of how beat boxing is revealing the many lessons the human voice has on how our minds interface with our bodies.”

The  findings help to understand  auditory perception in the brain, and could be used for speech and language therapy.

“Perhaps more research could tell us whether beat boxing might be a way to get people to re-engage their vocal cords with the act of making speech-related sounds, for people who have lost the mechanical ability to produce speech,” Professor Scott added.


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