Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Qty:1
  • List Price: $14.95
  • Save: $3.73 (25%)
FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
Koji Kondo's Super Mario ... has been added to your Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Acceptable
Comment: Item may not include associated media. Appears to have been read. Large wrinkle / bend on front cover. Small mark / wear on back cover. Small wrinkle / bend on pages.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Koji Kondo's Super Mario Bros. Soundtrack (33 1/3) Paperback – May 21, 2015

3.8 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$11.22
$8.56 $7.99
$11.22 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • Koji Kondo's Super Mario Bros. Soundtrack (33 1/3)
  • +
  • Devo's Freedom of Choice (33 1/3)
  • +
  • Dead Kennedys' Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables (33 1/3)
Total price: $37.64
Buy the selected items together

Special Offers and Product Promotions


Editorial Reviews

Review

Koji Kondo's Super Mario Bros. Soundtrack gave me a greater appreciation of something that appears to be so simple on the surface.” ―Pure Geekery

“Andrew Schartmann's extensive, thoughtful treatise on Japanese composer Koji Kondo and his work on the soundtrack to the original Super Mario Bros game is probably the most unusual entry in the 33 1/3 music chapbook series … As Schartmann demonstrates, Kondo's work on this seminal game – and the legacy of industry influence that followed – is much more than the primitive bleeps and bloops we all remember …” ―Critics at Large

“Andrew Schartmann does both the spirit of the series and video game history proud with his investigation into the iconic music from Koji Kondo. Matching a fanboy's sensibilities with serious scholarship, Schartmann provides the reader with an engaging discussion of Kondo's themes and ideas, both in terms of stylistic flair and compositional acumen … Of equal importance are his excellent research skills, as he collects worthwhile source material and pairs them [with] compelling quotes from Kondo and other luminaries at Nintendo to make his case for this soundtrack's inclusion in the 33-1/3 series. The result is a superb blend of professional musicology and video game nerdery.” ―Dryvetyme.tumblr.com

Koji Kondo's Super Mario Bros. Soundtrack comes in at 120 pages, not counting the notes and preface, which appears well on par with other books in the 33 ? series. It's a book that takes itself seriously, as it should, and soundly proves the case that video game composition is worthy of discussion among keepers of music as a craft. If you have an appreciation for game music, this is worth buying. Even if you don't get a few parts, they're only likely to make you admire the work and design that go into composing all the more.” ―Tim Latshaw, NintendoLife

“The most compelling aspects of Schartmann's book involve the widening circumference of Kondo's imagination, the possibilities he saw in this new world of electronic composition. The move to home consoles had freed video gaming from the initial, "hailing" approach to sound...It's Schartmann's sense of conviction, the hyperbole that occasionally frames his dive into composition and structure, that gives the book its charm.” ―Hua Shu, The New Yorker

“There's something ballsy about including a videogame soundtrack in the 33 1/3 series since it's not a traditional album per se, though Andrew Schartmann makes a compelling case for Koji Kondo's score for Super Mario Bros.” ―Ruby Hornet, Hubert Vigilla

About the Author

Andrew Schartmann holds degrees in music from McGill and Yale University. He is the author of Maestro Mario and the assistant editor of DSCH Journal.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE


Product Details

  • Series: 33 1/3
  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic (May 21, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1628928530
  • ISBN-13: 978-1628928532
  • Product Dimensions: 4.9 x 0.4 x 6.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #440,861 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
At three minutes long, written in a style for children, the music of Super Mario Bros. may not seem worthy of a 168-page book. But its four main songs (Overworld, Underworld, Water, and Bowser Castle), shorter themes (like the Starman music and Level Completion), and sound effects are iconic. Dozens of games re-arranged the music and hundreds of new arrangements can be found on Youtube.

Schartmann argues that nostalgia alone doesn't explain its appeal. The music is charming and full of character and atmosphere. It was also innovative. He goes into the background of Super Mario Bros. and what made it unusual for its time, coming after the arcade revolution, when music mostly consisted of flashy sound effects. He also examines the music's voice leading, rhythms, harmonic structure, form, as well as its imaginative sound effects.

The score excerpts are well transcribed, better than anything you'll find on the web. Separate voices are designated as square-wave, triangle-wave, etc., and are stay within their staves, instead of the quick and dirty piano reductions you usually see. The time signatures and tempos are consistent with standard notation (e.g., the simple cut-time signature for the Overworld theme, instead of the ridiculous "Quarter Note = 200" designation you may see on the web). The book doesn't include a full score, which isn't in its purview and would probably be a copyright violation.

The book also as a thoughtful interview with an NES composer who points out the different styles of composition in the West vs. Japan, which often involved pushing the limited sonic capabilities of the NES via clever programming (the West) vs. catchy tunes and more traditional voicing (Japan).
Read more ›
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
" 80’s video game? No wait! The MUSIC of an 80's video game? Exciting reading? You bet! Did you know that Koji Kondo's soundtrack to the Super Mario Bros. game revolutionized the entire video game industry and forever changed the way our society interacted with video games? Yep! That one game's music took us from the era of ubiquitous “bleeps” and “bloops” of the 70's to the game music of today, where now entire orchestras are assembled to record just a single game’s soundtrack. How did this happen? What made this music so profoundly influential? In “33 1/3 - Koji Kondo’s Super Mario Bros. Soundtrack”, Andrew Schartmann, PhD, (music degrees from Yale and McGill) provides us with a keen and highly-educated insight into how Koji Kondo, the first composer ever in history to write a musical score for a video game, was able to take an incredibly limited instrument (a five-channel sound chip with a narrow range of possibility) and develop, with his fellow programmers at Nintendo, an entirely unique philosophy of composition to create one of the most memorable tunes of a generation, while at the same time paving the way for future video game composers to explore an entirely new musical art form. Andrew also presents a very illuminating history of game music and an intriguing explanation of the tool of their musical medium. His respect for the incredible collaborative and creative process is present in his handling of the subject and he proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that music—in all its forms—truly is an art! The gaming industry has affected all of us in one way or another and that is why this book is an exciting look into our modern history. . . . "
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
One of the better 33 1/3 books I've read. It gives some really nice context with the state of video game music at the time and the influence of the Super Mario Bros. tunes.

It goes a little bit more into music theory/composition elements than most books, not too deep. Having taken a harmony 101 class would be helpful but i'm pretty sure you'd be fine without it. I could see a non-musician getting a bit lost when he gets into the details and the written sheet music examples though. Having said that, the fact there is only 3 minutes or so of unique music to discuss does allow the author to be thorough and the result makes an engaging and interesting read. I think during the section on sound effects he harps a bit too much on the obvious "notes going up = good, notes going down = bad" thing, but the rest is great.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fun neat insight on the Mario soundtrack. Does a good job of fleshing out, why the songs were written the way they were, and what led to such a memorable soundtrack. I'd love to see something similar for the 1st Zelda game next!
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Koji Kondo's Super Mario Bros. Soundtrack (33 1/3)
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
This item: Koji Kondo's Super Mario Bros. Soundtrack (33 1/3)