New 33 1/3 Title: Koji Kondo’s Super Mario Bros.


Bloomsbury is extremely proud to announce the first of fourteen new 33 1/3 volumes…coming to a bookstore (and kindle/iPad) near you in: Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016 and Fall 2016. It was extremely difficult to select these titles from a pool of over 400 brilliant proposals so we hope you enjoy! To highlight each new title and the author behind it, we’ll announce one book each day over the next two weeks.


Super Mario Bros. – Koji Kondo

By Andrew Schartmann

Coming May 2015 !

Koji Kondo’s Super Mario Bros. (1985) score redefined the video game music
genre. With just over 3 minutes of music, Kondo put to rest an era of bleeps and bloops—
the sterile products of a lab environment—replacing it with one in which game sounds
constituted a legitimate form of artistic expression. Author Andrew Schartmann takes us
through the various external factors (e.g., advances in technology, Nintendo’s marketing
tactics) that coalesced into a ripe environment in which Kondo’s musical experiments
could thrive. He then delves into the music itself, searching for reasons why our hearts
still dance to the “primitive” 8-bit tunes of a bygone era.

About the author: Andrew Schartmann holds degrees in music from McGill and Yale University. He is the author of Maestro Mario: How Nintendo Transformed Videogame Music into an Art and has written for Clavier Companion and Music & Vision magazine. He currently serves as the assistant editor of DSCH Journal. One of Andrew’s principal ambitions is to bridge the gap between the ivory tower and the video-game den.

You can find Andrew here, here and here.


  1. Wow…I’m very interested in reading this. Looking forward to it coming out.

    What game was Michael Jackson composing music for, but then was scrapped when all the child abuse allegations came out? Was it this?

    • Yes it is. We felt that the soundtrack to the Super Mario Bros. game, composed by Koji Kondo, had a huge impact beyond video game music. It definitely deserves the 33 1/3 treatment as an album.

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  6. That is pretty awesome but it also kills my chances for getting a perfect 14 guessed titles! Brings back memories of the original cartridge and I wish I had my old NES around.

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