The Morning After: The Mario theme joins your old tweets in the Library of Congress

The first piece of video game music to be inducted into the National Recording Registry.


The Library of Congress has announced the latest batch of 25 recordings joining the National Recording Registry. Alongside songs like “Like a Virgin,” "All I Want For Christmas Is You" and "Stairway To Heaven," Koji Kondo's Super Mario Bros. theme becomes the first piece of video game music to enter the registry. According to the Library of Congress, the Mario overworld music, officially titled "Ground Theme," is "perhaps the most recognizable video game theme in history."

“The amount of data that we could use for music and sound effects was extremely small, so I really had to be very innovative and make full use of the musical and programming ingenuity that we had at the time,” Kondo told the Library of Congress. He apparently drew from Japanese jazz fusion and Latin music to create the melody on the Nintendo Entertainment System's five-channel sound chip. And now there’s a (second) Hollywood movie featuring his work.

– Mat Smith

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