Riffs | OPEN

“These local musical pathways were established, already-trodden and, for the most part, abiding routes which many people had taken and were taking in company with others. To be sure, none were permanent in the sense of being changeless, nor could they survive without people treading and constantly reforming them; new paths were hewn out, some to become established, others to fade or be only faintly followed, others again to be extended and developed through new routings by the individuals and groups who patronised them.”

Ruth Finnegan, The Hidden Musicians (1989: 306-7)


Like the more adventurous musicians in Ruth Finnegan’s book, the pieces within this Open section of Riffs take us down different paths in our consideration of popular music.

They may begin from a different starting point or end up at a new destination.

They may forge a new path in the ideas that they offer, or in the form that they take.

Indeed, they might take the scenic route to a popular destination, showing us new things en route.

And as we take the road less travelled, we open up new routings for those that follow and hope that they will extended and developed upon them.


In this section, we publish contributions from music writers of all backgrounds on all subjects. We only ask that you take a somewhat different route.

We welcome your submissions via email to info@riffsjournal.org

With thanks to our Riffs | OPEN designer and editorial board member, Iain Taylor, for his visual translations of these pieces.