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Encyclopedia > Riff

In music, a riff is an ostinato figure: a repeated chord progression, pattern or melodic figure, often played by the rhythm section instruments, that forms the basis or accompaniment of a rock music or jazz composition. They can be as simple as repeated saxophone honking an entire chorus on a single exciting note by Big Jay McNeely or as complex as the head arrangements played by the Count Basie Orchestra. This is about a region in Morocco: RIF is also an acronym/initialism. ... Sluggy Freelance is one of the longest running, best-known and most popular webcomics, with a new comic released daily since August 25, 1997, except for 8 days in August 2001 and filler art on many other occasions. ... This is a list of characters from the popular webcomic Sluggy Freelance. ... Barney & Friends is a popular childrens television show produced in the United States, mainly aimed at preschoolers. ... In music, an ostinato (derived from Italian: stubborn, compare English: obstinate) is a motif or phrase which is repeated over and over again at the same pitch [1]. Both ostinatos and ostinati are accepted English plural forms, albeit by different groups. ... A chord progression (also chord sequence and harmonic progression or sequence), as its name implies, is a series of chords played in an order. ... Look up melody in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Rhythm section refers to the musicians whose primary jobs in a jazz or popular music band or ensemble is to establish the rhythm of a song or musical piece, often via repeated riffs or ostinati. ... In music accompaniment is the art of playing along with a soloist or ensemble, often known as the lead, in a supporting manner as well as the music thus played. ... Rock and roll (also spelled Rock n Roll, especially in its first decade), also called rock, is a form of popular music, usually featuring vocals (often with vocal harmony), electric guitars and a strong back beat; other instruments, such as the saxophone, are common in some styles. ... Jazz is a musical art form that originated in New Orleans at around the start of the 20th century. ... Saxophones of different sizes play in different registers. ... Cecil James (Big Jay) McNeely (born on April 29, 1927 in Los Angeles, California), is an American rhythm and blues tenor saxophonist. ... This article is about Arrangements in music. ... William Count Basie (August 21, 1904 – April 26, 1984) was a jazz pianist, organist, and bandleader. ...


David Brackett (1999) defines them as, "short melodic phrases," while Richard Middleton (1999) defines them as, "short rhythmic, melodic, or harmonic figures repeated to form a structural framework." Though Rikky Rooksby (2002, p.6-7) admits that there is no "water-tight" definition, he gives a "working description" for riffs in rock: "A riff is a short, repeated, memorable musical phrase, often pitched low on the guitar, which focuses much of the energy and excitement of a rock song." In music a phrase is a section of music that is relatively self contained and coherent over a medium time scale. ... For the popular Tamil film, see Rhythm (film) Rhythm (Greek = flow, or in Modern Greek, style) is the variation of the accentuation of sounds or other events over time. ... In acoustics and telecommunication, the harmonic of a wave is a component frequency of the signal that is an integer multiple of the fundamental frequency. ... The term musical form refers to two related concepts: the type of composition (for example, a musical work can have the form of a symphony, a concerto, or other another generic type -- see Multi-movement forms below) the structure of a particular piece (for example, a piece can be writeen...


Riffs are often used (and re-used) to create full compositions. The "Night Train" riff was first used in Duke Ellington's "Happy-Go-Lucky Local", which Ellington had recycled from Johnny Hodges earlier "That's the Blues, Old Man". The riff from Charlie Parker's bebop number "Now's the Time" (1945) re-emerged four years later as the R&B dance hit, "The Hucklebuck". The verse of "The Hucklebuck", which was another riff, was "borrowed" from the Artie Matthews composition, "Weary Blues". Glenn Miller's "In the Mood" had an earlier life as Wingy Manone's "Tar Paper Stomp". (All these songs use twelve bar blues riffs. It is probable that these riffs precede the examples given.) Jimmy Robert Forrest Jr. ... Edward Kennedy Duke Ellington (April 29, 1899 – May 24, 1974), also known simply as Duke (see Jazz royalty), was an American jazz composer, pianist, and bandleader. ... Johnny Hodges in concert, Feb. ... Charlie Parker Charles Bird Parker, Jr. ... Bebop or bop is a form of jazz characterized by fast tempos and improvisation based on harmonic structure rather than melody. ... Rhythm and blues (or R & B) is a musical marketing term introduced in the United States in the late 1940s by Billboard magazine. ... The Weary Blues is a 1915 tune by Artie Matthews. ... In the Mood was the signature tune of Glenn Miller and one of the best-known arrangements of the Big Band era. ... Joseph Matthews Manone, much better known as Wingy Manone (13 February 1900 - 9 July 1982) was a jazz trumpeter, singer, and bandleader. ... The 12-bar blues has a distinctive form in both lyrics and chord structure. ...

Contents

Terminology

The term riff entered musical slang in the 1920s (Rooksby, ibid), and is used primarily in discussion of forms of rock music or jazz. "Most rock musicians use riff as a synonym, almost, for 'musical idea.'" (Middleton 1990, p.125). Tony Iommi is a pioneer of "Riffage". Charlie Parker's "Thriving on a Riff", like many bebop originals, was based on the chord progression of George Gershwin's "I've Got Rhythm". Slang is the use of highly informal words and expressions that are not considered standard in the speakers dialect or language. ... Rock and roll (also spelled Rock n Roll, especially in its first decade), also called rock, is a form of popular music, usually featuring vocals (often with vocal harmony), electric guitars and a strong back beat; other instruments, such as the saxophone, are common in some styles. ... Jazz is a musical art form that originated in New Orleans at around the start of the 20th century. ... Charlie Parker Charles Bird Parker, Jr. ... Bebop or bop is a form of jazz characterized by fast tempos and improvisation based on harmonic structure rather than melody. ... Gershwin redirects here. ...


Some sources explain riff as an abbreviation for "rhythmic figure", however, the musical use of the term derives from its use in comedy where a riffing consists of short clever remarks ([1]) on a subject. Thus riffing on a melody or progression as one would riff on a subject by extending a singular thought, idea or inspiration into a bit, or routine. An abbreviation (from Latin brevis short) is a shortened form of a word or phrase. ... Comedy has a classical meaning (comical theatre) and a popular one (the use of humour with an intent to provoke laughter in general). ... A bit (binary digit) refers to a digit in the binary numeral system, which consists of base 2 digits (ie. ... Routine may be a reference to one of the following: Patterns of living among people are studied in Ethnomethodology. ...


Pieces and songs that depend on riffs for their effect

The popular website DigitalDreamDoor has compiled a list [2] of what they say are the "100 greatest guitar riffs".


Notation and sound examples

In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida riff In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, released in 1968, was a seventeen-minute rock song by Iron Butterfly, released on an album that shares the songs title. ... Iron butterfly is also a name for an options-trading strategy. ... Download high resolution version (921x134, 1 KB)Riff from In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida by Iron Butterfly. ...

  • In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida ( file info) — play in browser (beta)
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Iron Man riff Image File history File links Iron_Butterfly_In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida_Riff. ... Software development stages In computer programming, development stage terminology expresses how the development of a piece of software has progressed and how much further development it may require. ... Iron Man is a signature song of Birmingham heavy metal pioneers Black Sabbath. ... Black Sabbath are an English heavy metal band from Birmingham. ... Download high resolution version (893x147, 4 KB)The riff from Iron Man (song) by Black Sabbath. ...

  • Iron Man ( file info) — play in browser (beta)
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  • Take Five ( file info) — play in browser (beta)
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Iron Man riff. ... Software development stages In computer programming, development stage terminology expresses how the development of a piece of software has progressed and how much further development it may require. ... Take Five is a classic jazz piece recorded by The Dave Brubeck Quartet and released on its 1959 album Time Out. ... Paul Desmond and Dave Brubeck, October 8, 1954. ... Image File history File links Dave_Brubeck_Quartet,_The-Time_Out-Take_Five-head. ... Software development stages In computer programming, development stage terminology expresses how the development of a piece of software has progressed and how much further development it may require. ... Smoke on the Water is a famous and influential rock song by Deep Purple. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Image File history File links Smoke_on_the_water. ...

You Really Got Me riff You Really Got Me is a song written by Ray Davies and performed by his band, The Kinks. ... The Kinks were an English rock group, formed in the mid-1960s by Ray Davies and his brother Dave Davies. ... Download high resolution version (861x130, 4 KB)The Kinks You Really Got Me riff. ...


Musicians who are especially known for their riffs

Charles Michael Chuck Schuldiner (May 13, 1967, Long Island, New York – December 13, 2001) was an American musician. ... Trey Anastasio (born Ernest Joseph Anastasio III on September 30, 1964)[1][2][3] is an American guitarist, composer, and vocalist most noted for his work with the rock band Phish. ... This does not cite its references or sources. ... This article or section may contain original research or unverified claims. ... Charles Edward Anderson Chuck Berry (born October 18, 1926) is an American guitarist, singer, and songwriter. ... Richard Hugh Blackmore, (born 14 April 1945) is a British guitarist. ... Mark Feld (September 30, 1947 – September 16, 1977), better known as Marc Bolan, was a singer and songwriter for the band Tyrannosaurus Rex (later called T. Rex), from 1967 until his death in a car crash in 1977. ... T. Rex (originally known as Tyrannosaurus Rex, also occasionally spelled T Rex or T-Rex), were an English rock band fronted by Marc Bolan. ... Buckethead (born Brian Carroll) is an American guitarist and composer. ... J.J. Cale (born December 5, 1938) is an American songwriter and musician, best known for writing two songs that Eric Clapton made famous, After Midnight and Cocaine . He is one of many artists that play the Tulsa Sound. ... Jerry Fulton Cantrell Jr. ... An example of the famous Clapton is God graffiti craze Eric Patrick Clapton CBE (born March 30, 1945), nicknamed Slowhand, is a Grammy Award winning English guitarist, singer and composer, who is one of the most respected and influential musicians of the rock era, garnering an unprecedented three inductions into... Kurt Donald Cobain (February 20, 1967 – c. ... Phil Collen performing live with Def Leppard. ... Dimebag redirects here. ... Dan Donegan at Starland ballroom. ... John Anthony Frusciante (IPA pronunciation: ) (born March 5, 1970) is the guitarist of the Californian band Red Hot Chili Peppers, with whom he has performed on five studio recordings (Mothers Milk, Blood Sugar Sex Magik, Californication, By the Way and Stadium Arcadium). ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... This article or section is not written in the formal tone expected of an encyclopedia article. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Frank Anthony Tony Iommi (born February 19, 1948) is a guitarist from Birmingham, England, who is best known as a member of the heavy metal band Black Sabbath. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Adam Thomas Jones (born January 15, 1965 in Park Ridge, Illinois) is best known as the guitarist for the band Tool. ... Mark Freuder Knopfler, OBE (born August 12, 1949, Glasgow, Scotland) is an English[1] guitarist, singer, and songwriter. ... Ronni Lé Tekrø (born 1963 in Norway) is a virtuoso guitarist best known for playing with the metal band TNT. His guitar riff [edit] The Le Tekro sound Ronni tends to play his guitar at a very fast pace, with more emphasis on distortion, and pace then loudness. ... Yngwie J. Malmsteen (born Lars Johan Yngve Lannerbäck, June 30, 1963) is a guitarist from Sweden who achieved widespread acclaim in the 1980s due to his technical proficiency and fusion of classical music elements with heavy rock guitar. ... Brian Harold May CBE (Born July 19, 1947) is the guitarist for the English rock band Queen. ... Deron Miller in the CKY documentary Deron John Miller (born May 21, 1976 in Chester, Pennsylvania, USA) is the lead singer, guitarist and songwriter for CKY (also known as Camp Kill Yourself) which has been through various incarnations since he co-founded it with Jess Margera in 1994. ... Gary Moore (born Robert William Gary Moore, 4 April 1952, in Belfast, Northern Ireland) is a guitarist. ... Thomas Baptist Morello or Tom Morello (born May 30, 1964) is an American guitarist. ... Dave Mustaine (born David Scott Mustaine on September 13, 1961 in La Mesa, California, United States) is a guitarist, songwriter, and singer. ... David Michael Navarro (born June 7, 1967) is a guitarist and drummer who has played in the rock bands Janes Addiction and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. ... Buzz Osborne (b. ... James Patrick Jimmy Page, OBE (born January 9, 1944) is an English guitarist and producer. ... Anthony Joseph Joe Perry (Born September 10, 1950 in Lawrence, Massachusetts), is the lead guitarist and a contributing songwriter for the rock band Aerosmith. ... John Petrucci (born July 12, 1967) is an American guitarist best known as a founding member of the progressive metal group Dream Theater. ... Randall William Randy Rhoads (December 6, 1956 – March 19, 1982) was an American guitarist, rated by Rolling Stone magazine as number 85 in The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. ... Keith Richards (born 18 December 1943 in Dartford, Kent) is an English guitarist, songwriter, singer, and founding member of British musical group The Rolling Stones. ... Richie Sambora (born Richard Stephen Sambora on July 11, 1959 in Perth Amboy, New Jersey), is an American rock guitarist, singer and song writer who is the lead guitarist for rock band Bon Jovi. ... Joe Satch Satriani (born on July 15, 1956, in Westbury, New York, USA) is an American instrumental rock guitarist and teacher. ... Rudolf Schenker (born August 31, 1948 in Hildesheim, Germany) is a German guitarist and founding member of Scorpions and the rhythm/lead guitarist of the band. ... This article or section may contain original research or unverified claims. ... The Edge is the moniker of David Howell Evans (born August 8, 1961), the lead guitarist of the Dublin-based rock band U2. ... Peter Dennis Blandford Townshend (born May 19, 1945 in Chiswick, London) is an English rock guitarist, singer, songwriter, and composer who is best known as the guitarist for the rock band The Who. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Erno Emppu Vuorinen. ... Image:Ron wood virgin. ... Zakk Wylde (born Jeffery Phillip Wiedlandt on January 14, 1967 in Bayonne, New Jersey) is the lead guitarist, singer and songwriter of Black Label Society and guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne. ... Angus McKinnon Young, born March 31, 1955 in Glasgow, Scotland, is a guitarist and songwriter who has been the lead guitarist of Australian hard rock band AC/DC since the group was formed in 1973. ...

Source

  • Horner, Bruce; Swiss, Thomas (1999). Form and Music: Key Terms in Popular Music and Culture. Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell. ISBN 0-631-21263-9.
  • Middleton, Richard (1990/2002). Studying Popular Music. Philadelphia: Open University Press. ISBN 0-335-15275-9.
  • Rooksby, Rikky (2002). Riffs: How to create and play great guitar riffs. San Francisco: Backbeat Books. ISBN 0-87930-710-2.

Similar notions (and synonyms)

In music, an ostinato (derived from Italian: stubborn, compare English: obstinate) is a motif or phrase which is repeated over and over again at the same pitch [1]. Both ostinatos and ostinati are accepted English plural forms, albeit by different groups. ... In Jazz, a vamp is simply a repeating bass figure. ... In popular music, a lick is a rock term [meaning]...something like a stock pattern or phrase (Middleton 1990, p. ... A hook is a musical idea, a passage or phrase, that is believed to be catchy and helps the song stand out, it is, meant to catch the ear of the listener (Covach 2005, p. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Riff - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (317 words)
In music, a riff is an ostinato figure: a repeated chord progression, pattern or melodic figure, often played by the rhythm section instruments, that forms the basis or accompaniment of a rock music or jazz composition.
The term "riff" is sometimes regarded as slang, and is used primarily in discussion of forms of rock music or jazz.
Some sources explain "riff" as an abbreviation for "rhythmic figure", however, the musical use of the term derives from its use in comedy where a riff is a short clever remark ([1]) on a subject.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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