Japanese composer Koji Kondo’s influence on modern music is unassailable. Employed by Nintendo since 1984, he single-handedly made video game music a thing worth noticing by composing the music for Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda. His Mario theme has been covered countless times, in countless styles by musicians all over the world.
In recognition of his significance, Bloomsbury is publishing a new book about Kondo’s Mario music in its 33 1/3 series about significant albums. In Super Mario Bros. – Koji Kondo, music writer Andrew Schartmann charts the various factors in technology, Nintendo, and culture at large that led to Kondo’s musical revolution. Schartmann also delves into the music itself, trying to pick apart the enduring appeal of the 8-bit, chiptunes style that seems more popular then ever.
This is not Schartmann’s first time writing about the subject, as just last year he published Maestro Mario: How Nintendo Transformed Video Game Music into Art. The new book will go on sale in May 2015.