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Old 04-29-2010, 01:22 AM
Autolycus Autolycus is offline
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What would Mozart have thought of the Super Mario Theme?

Dum-dum-dum, da dum-dum-dum. The Mario theme is an immortal jingle in the collective musical consciousness of the world. Either through it's musical merit or it's associated gameplay glee, it brings a smile to the face.

I listened to it a few times tonight, and for the life of me I can't place its musical mode, or even what kind of music it is. There is no orchestration, so it's not harmonically complex, but yet the melody seems to have this awesome happy power to it.

So, what would Mozart have thought of this tune? Any ideas?
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Old 04-29-2010, 01:26 AM
Autolycus Autolycus is offline
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Upon a trip to the water closet, I got to thinking that due to its heavy syncopation and other small things I can't put into words, maybe it most resembles a certain kind of jazz. This would put it more into Beethoven territory (right?), as I thought the Romantic period was the precursor of Jazz. I might be totally off-base.
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Old 04-29-2010, 01:45 AM
Winston Bongo Winston Bongo is offline
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A few years ago, I had borrowed a friend's iPod, and he had a version of the Super Mario theme played by a full orchestra. It was just about the coolest thing I'd ever heard in my life. And it worked! I mean, it didn't sound like a corny muzak version -- it sounded like something that had actually been composed for an orchestra. And yet it was, undeniably, the Super Mario theme.

I have no idea who was responsible for it, but I'd like to find out and hear it again.
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Old 04-29-2010, 01:49 AM
Autolycus Autolycus is offline
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Although, I have to admit that "Twelve Variations on an Overworld" would be kickass!
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Old 04-29-2010, 01:51 AM
Jragon Jragon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Winston Bongo View Post
A few years ago, I had borrowed a friend's iPod, and he had a version of the Super Mario theme played by a full orchestra. It was just about the coolest thing I'd ever heard in my life. And it worked! I mean, it didn't sound like a corny muzak version -- it sounded like something that had actually been composed for an orchestra. And yet it was, undeniably, the Super Mario theme.

I have no idea who was responsible for it, but I'd like to find out and hear it again.
Probably not what you're thinking of, but the Smash Bros Great Medley, recorded by New Japan Philharmonic, is possibly one of the finest orchestral recordings of video game music ever (as well as the rest of the Smashing... Live CD). Unfortunately it's 14.5 minutes so it has to be broken into two parts:

P1:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEwBaXdPxZk
P2:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJeJp...eature=related
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Old 04-29-2010, 02:00 AM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Autolycus View Post
I listened to it a few times tonight, and for the life of me I can't place its musical mode, or even what kind of music it is.
Well, it's basically in major scale with a lot of chromatic passing notes in it (particularly the "blue" notes of the dominant seventh and flatted third. It also has a lot of the augmented fifth.) I would still basically call it a major scale. The chromaticism and melody lines actually remind me a lot of ragtime melodies, as well as the syncopation, but the rhythm is somewhat different than ragtime. The rhythm itself feels Carribean to me, and I think it is supposed to

The harmonies are fairly sparse and simple, but also pretty contemporary (with the bVI and bVII chords.) I don't recall bVI-bVII-I and bVI-I progressions used much before the 20th century (but I may very well be wrong.)
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Old 04-29-2010, 02:16 AM
Autolycus Autolycus is offline
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Wow, thanks everyone for all your responses so far. I'm now listening to some of the links and will report back after. In the meantime, I found this Wiki link which seems to support a lot of what pulykamell is saying: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Mario_Bros._theme

Thinking about this song raises evens deeper question of what makes a song catchy in the first place versus what makes it 'good,' and how these intersect. That's a PhD+ topic there, you betcha.
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  #8  
Old 04-29-2010, 02:32 AM
Sage Rat Sage Rat is offline
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Ragtime would be my closest guess.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CF-mBeT_ZaQ
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  #9  
Old 04-29-2010, 03:16 AM
Autolycus Autolycus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Winston Bongo View Post
I have no idea who was responsible for it, but I'd like to find out and hear it again.
The Smash Medley was also great, but perhaps this is what you heard?

From Play! A Videogame Symphony: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2QWw...eature=related
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Old 04-29-2010, 11:45 AM
Yumblie Yumblie is offline
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Here is the original orchestrated version of the theme from a series of orchestral game music CDs that came out in the 90s in Japan.

Here's one for the Zelda theme, which was composed by the same guy.

I like the one comment in that Wiki article from Nobuo Uematsu (composer for Final Fantasy series) that stated it's so popular it should become Japan's national anthem, an idea simultaneously ridiculous and awesome...possibly ridiculously awesome.
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Old 04-29-2010, 01:01 PM
Jas09 Jas09 is offline
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Originally Posted by Yumblie View Post
I like the one comment in that Wiki article from Nobuo Uematsu (composer for Final Fantasy series) that stated it's so popular it should become Japan's national anthem, an idea simultaneously ridiculous and awesome...possibly ridiculously awesome.
Nah, just awesome! Imagine at the Olympics, jumping up to the top of the platform with the Overworld Theme playing? What could be cooler?
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