5. Plosive and Fricative Generators

5.1 Generators

There are 15 Places of Generation – places where sounds are generated. A Generator is a way of making sounds using one of the places of generation. There are four basic kinds of Generator. The four kinds of Generator are:

  1. Plosive Generators
  2. Fricative Generators
  3. Percussive Generators
  4. Vocal Generator

5.2 Plosive and Fricative Generators

The two most common Generators (apart from vocal chords) are Plosive and Fricative Generators.

Take, for example, sounds made with both lips. We call this kind of sound a bilabial (two-lipped) sound. There are TWO variations of a bilabial sound. One is a plosive and one is a fricative.

Figure 5.1 – The Bilabial Plosive and Bilabial Fricative

Video 5.2 – The Bilabial Plosive and Bilabial Fricative

Plosive – two parts of the mouth touch. The sound is created by building up pressure between two parts of the mouth that are in contact and releasing them quickly creating an explosive burst of air. Sounds like { T } and { B } and { P } are plosives.

Fricative – two parts of the mouth do NOT touch. The sound is created by squeezing air between the two parts. Sounds like { F } and { S } and { H } are all fricatives.

The plosive and fricative icons for a bilabial (sound made with both lips) use the same basic shapes. See how similar they are? The plosive version has touching lips and the fricative version has non-touching lips.


5.3 List of Plosive and Fricative Generators

There are 12 Places of Generation for Plosive and Fricative Generators.

Figure 5.3 – Bi means two and labial means lips. Bilabial means two-lips. The sound is made between the two lips of the mouth

Figure 5.4 – Labial means lips and Inter means ‘to put between’. The sound is made by putting the tongue between (or just touching) the two lips.

Figure 5.5 – Labio means lips and dental means teeth. The sound is made between the upper teeth and the lower lip.

Figure 5.6 – Dental means teeth. The sound is made between the tongue and the rear of the top teeth.

Figure 5.7 – Bi means two and dental means teeth. The sound is made between the two front or rear teeth. Note: The plosive and fricative versions of the front teeth bidental are little used in beatboxing (not shown). The rear bidental fricative is very common (shown) – e.g. { sh }

Figure 5.8 – Inter means ‘to put between’ and dental means teeth. The sound is made by putting the tongue between the teeth.

Figure 5.9 – The alveolar ridge is the protruding bony bit on the roof of the mouth just behind the top front teeth. The sound is made between the tongue on the alveolar ridge.

Figure 5.10 – Palatal refers to the hard palate in the mouth. It is the hard part of the roof of the mouth. The sound is made between the tongue and the hard palate.

Figure 5.11 – Velar refers to the soft palate in the mouth. It is is the soft part of the roof of the mouth. The sound is made between the tongue and the soft palate.

Figure 5.12 – Pharyngeal refers to the pharynx which is the soft part right at the rear of your mouth. The sound is made between the back of the tongue and the pharynx.

Figure 5.13 – The uvular is the dangly bit you can see at the back of your mouth. The sound is made between the back of the tongue against the uvular.

Figure 5.14 – The epiglottis is a flap behind and below the back of your tongue that covers your windpipe when swallowing. It can be used to make sounds!

Next: 6. Percussive and Vocal Generators

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(c) Copyright 2017-2018 Gavin Tyte (aka TyTe)
(c) Copyright 2017-2018 Gavin Tyte (aka TyTe)