Some call it vocal percussion, some call it human beatbox or just beatboxing, some call it vocal drumming or mouth drumming. When I do it, I call it One Mouth Band. Whatever the name, it is making music (and specifically beats) with one’s mouth. It is best known from hip-hop music, but in truth it has existed the world over long before that. See what Wikipedia has to say about beatboxing.
You’ll often, though not always, find it popping up in CircleSong gatherings. This is probably due to the fact that David Worm had been beatboxing with Bobby McFerrin’s Voicestra since day one, so people tend to associate it with the form.
I’ve been beatboxing for over a decade as The One Mouth Band, and for most of my life in various a cappella groups, bands, and performance projects. I sang/beatboxed with David Worm in SoVoSo (a spin-off of Voicestra) for years, and was a founding member of The Vowel Movement West Coast Beatbox Collective. I’m also a finalist in the first US Beatboxing Championships which take place in New York City later this year. Here is a promo clip from my entry in that competition.