Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Daily Riff: Creating Unity and Interest

Here's the definition of "riff" ---

 * (in popular music and jazz) a short repeated phrase, frequently played over changing chords or harmonies or used as a background to a solo improvisation.

A riff that lasts for a few moments creates unity and interest. It helps the listener get in the groove and can help create that mesmerizing effect that commands the listener's every nerve of attention. 

Dang, it seems today's pop music is entirely made of riffs! Overdone, perhaps? Too predictable?

A similar idea and technique occurs in classical music where the term is motif. It recurs. It creates unity and interest. 

These recurring melodic bits -- riffs and motifs -- speak to the genius of the art of music. They show the composer's brilliance to the degree that they make the music more able to settle into our soul. 

Without riffs and motifs, music is chaotic, unpredictable, even annoying.

How about a riff that becomes the background for your lifelong "solo improvisation" meaning YOUR LIFE? 

What are the catchy riffs that creates a pleasing background for your daily work? Is it the way you answer the phone? The tone of your voice? The way you tackle your day? Your wicked wit? Your determination? The way you drive your car? Easy to please or easy to irritate?

Solo on, my friend! 


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