Library of Congress archives Super Mario Bros. theme as first video game music to be preserved

A Game-Changing Induction into the Library of Congress

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Super Mario Bros. theme - The Library of Congress

In an unprecedented move, the iconic “Super Mario Bros.” theme has become the first video game music entry into the esteemed Library of Congress, forever solidifying its place in history.

This remarkable achievement comes as we witness a resurgence in Nintendo’s popularity, with record-breaking movie releases, expansive theme parks, and a best-selling gaming console. The renowned “Ground Theme” has captivated generations of gamers, and its inclusion in the Library of Congress signifies the recognition of video game music as a significant cultural contribution.

The “Super Mario Bros.” theme, officially known as the “Ground Theme,” debuted in 1985 alongside the release of the game on the Famicom and Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). The mastermind behind this unforgettable melody is none other than Koji Kondo, a prolific composer whose partnership with Nintendo spans decades. Kondo’s genius extends beyond the realm of Mario, as he has created memorable scores for various franchises such as “Punch-Out!!,” “The Legend of Zelda,” and “Star Fox,” as well as arranging music for the “Super Smash Bros.” series and composing original tracks for games like “Super Mario Odyssey” and “Super Mario Maker 2.”

Kondo’s “Super Mario Bros.” theme has undoubtedly left an indelible mark on gaming culture. Its catchy tune has been featured in numerous Mario games, television shows, and films, testifying to its enduring appeal. In 2016, Nintendo even trademarked the distinctive coin sound from the game, which has become one of the most frequently reused sounds across all Super Mario titles.

The “Super Mario Bros.” theme is one of 25 new inductees to the US Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry, joining the ranks of legendary artists and their masterpieces. This year’s list features a diverse selection of works, including Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” Madonna’s “Like a Virgin,” Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven,” Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams,” and Daddy Yankee’s “Gasolina.”

Super Mario Bros. theme - The Library of Congress

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Among these illustrious inductees, a notable inclusion is Carl Sagan’s influential recording of the concept behind his book, “Pale Blue Dot.” This recording, based on a photograph of Earth taken by the Voyager 1 probe in 1990, eloquently captures the significance of our tiny planet in the vast cosmos. In a way, the induction of the “Super Mario Bros.” theme alongside such a profound piece highlights the ever-expanding universe of video game culture and the boundless possibilities that lie within it.

The induction of the “Super Mario Bros.” theme into the Library of Congress marks a pivotal moment for video game music, validating its impact on modern culture. As the gaming world continues to evolve and captivate new generations, the timeless melody of the “Ground Theme” will forever remain a testament to the powerful influence of video games on our lives.

Click on this link to read this article in French version