What the hell is a “Riff”? (Rockin’ Rant #28)

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You hear this term “Riff” thrown around all the time. But what exactly is a Riff? Where did it come from? Why is it SO important?
Topics covered:
-classical origins in the ostinato
-1930s and the shortening of “refrain”
-what it is
-what it is not
-rhythm and why the “riff” will go on forever
-BBC Documentary “The Joy of The Guitar Riff” https://youtu.be/XWFL-QvMK-8