Yesterday we were watching the trailer for that Kung-Fu Panda movie, and it features that “Kung-Fu Fighting” song. And I was wondering where that riff in that song comes from, because I’ve heard it in a lot of contexts as an ur-Asian riff. So, I typed into a search engine: “kung fu fighting” riff
Sure enough, the first hit was the Wikipedia entry for Oriental Riff. That particular riff dates back to the mid-1800s, but the origins of it are not well documented — did it come from something from the orient or not?
Anyway, it’s one of those “where did that originate” things that I love so much.