Super Mario Bros. Theme Makes History As First Video Game Music Added To Library Of Congress

By Jason Collins
| Published

super mario bros

Super Mario Bros theme tune has been included in the 25 recordings that represent some of the defining sounds of the nation’s history and culture and is thus to be added to the Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry. This is one of the many recent firsts for the gaming industry; Modern Warfare 2 previously set a massive record as the entertainment industry’s biggest opening, and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is the first video game that had won a Grammy Award.

According to Gizmodo, Koji Kondo’s Super Mario Bros. theme song is one of the 25 recordings added to the National Recording Registry, an entity established to preserve some of the world’s most famous songs and musical pieces for future generations. The Registry contains everything from Billy Joel’s “Piano Man” to “Master of Puppets” by Metallica and plenty of other songs, albums, and themes that the experts believe had a defining influence on American history or culture in one way or another.

Those bearing the responsibility of choice over which pieces of music get immortalized in the Library of Congress dubbed the Super Mario Bros theme song as the most recognizable video game theme in history—which is admittedly a statement that’s very hard to argue since the tune is known even by those who never played the game. Admittedly, there are great pieces of gaming music out there, such as Kurt Harland’s “Ozar Midrahism” or Olivier Deriviere’s “Who am I?” but the Super Mario Bros theme is recognized by nearly anyone in the modern world.

Both the Super Mario Bros theme and its game were released in a bundle with the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) console in 1985. The NES it helped launch was responsible for saving gaming following a crash in the video game market in 1983. The game remained one of the top bestsellers in gaming history, and its first-level studies at various design master classes as a perfect example of intuitive design—this was before gamers needed their hands held during gameplay.

The original Super Mario Bros box art

Not only that, but the Super Mario Bros theme made Koji Kondo—its composer—famous among video game composers, in pretty much the same way in which the game made Shigeru Miyamoto famous among game designers. Soundtracks are important to multimedia entertainment as they make the experience more immersive. For example, 2004’s The Suffering is nearly devoid of all music, and you can only hear loud breathing, making the experience of a survival horror much more terrifying—especially with surround sound.

The importance of the historic inclusion of the Super Mario Bros theme can’t be understated, as its addition opens the door for other gaming soundtracks which can be added in the coming years. Admittedly, finding a gaming tune that’s as recognizable as the Super Mario Bros theme isn’t as easily accomplishable. Sonic The Hedgehog soundtrack is also recognizable though perhaps not as recognizable as the Mario theme.

The Super Mario Bros movie, starring Chris Pratt and Charlie Day, is in theaters now and yes, it includes the classic theme.


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