Axe for 'guitar'?

Joseph Carson samizdata at EARTHLINK.NET
Sat Apr 22 09:54:58 UTC 2000

Would someone define the differences between the omnipresent (but flexibly
applied) musical terms "riff" and "run," too?  I guess that a "riff" is a
decorative embellishment between phrases, like a trill or glisssando, while
a run is a repeated rhythmic or melodic motif sustained over several beats
or measures of the underlying harmonic progression, such as the arpeggiated
melody echoing the chordal structure of a pianistic work like C.P.E. Bach's
etude "Solfeggieto," for instance, which most intermediate-level piano
students of the Baby Boom generation (and maybe still) are sure to have
done some "wood-chopping" on themselves years ago.  It seemed to me that
"riffs," "runs," and "rides" (which are solos) were legacies of the
be-bop/smooth jazz era of the '50s to '60s, but since I prefer knowing to
guessing, please set me straight if I guessed wrong(ly) - would that
considered an adverbial phrase, still? - or has it boldly gone, like so
many split infinitives before it, into the brave new world of "grammar by
emote" prevalent in the teaching models of today, versus the "grammar by
rote" method I had the "benefit" of when I was being taught in the '60s and
'70s? - again, I ask not wring my hands over lost standards and values, but
to be able to stop guessing all of the time (as usual) - but for now, have
a good holiday weekend, and until next time, Regards, Joseph Carson

Bob Fitzke wrote:

> I've sat quietly and read the regulars' discussion of musician's jargon
> with great interest wondering when someone would mention the breadth of
> "chops". As in Oscar Peterson has great chops. Now there's a word with
> some coverage!
> Bob
> Grant Barrett wrote:
> >
> > >> Not only that, I have heard users refer to their computers as
> > >axes.
> >
> >

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