united_notions writes: Beatboxing, pioneered in the 1980s and made famous by Michael Winslow in Police Academy (1984), and recently demonstrated by Tom Thum at TEDxSydney), has long been something of an enigma. Phonetic transcriptions have been attempted, including Standard Beatbox Notation and The Beatbox Alphabet (the latter based more closely on the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA)). The Beatbox Bible also uses phonetic terminology to teach the technique. Now, an international team from UCSD and Philips Research have published a paper (article paywalled; extensive free related resources at UCS here) in the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, showing the results of real-time magnetic resonance imaging conducted on a beatboxing performer. The authors make interesting comparisons to sounds in many minority languages around the world (such as the 'click' consonants in many African languages); they also show how beatboxing sounds can be represented using the IPA.