Here's a little something that I found of interest. Have you ever listened to Turning Japanese by the Vapours? There is a little riff that is the hook of the song that sounds Asian. Well it happens to be called the Asian Riff. But that's where its 'Asianess' of it ends.
After doing a little hunting for what it was called, I learned that, although we associated it with Asian, its roots are Western. Apparently it has been used in Western music from way back in the 1960s.
You might actually be fairly familiar with it. It is used in several well know songs:
- Kung Fu Fighting, Carl Douglas
- Turning Japanese, The Vapours
- China Girl, David Bowie
- Young Folks, Peter Bjorn and John