• Maestro Mario

  • How Nintendo Transformed Videogame Music into an Art
  • By: Andrew Schartmann
  • Narrated by: Kaleo Griffith
  • Length: 3 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 25-07-14
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Audible Studios
  • 3.5 out of 5 stars 3.3 (3 ratings)


"Pa-dum-pum-pa-dum-pum - PUM!" Super Mario Bros. for the NES contains some of the most recognizable tunes in popular culture, and yet it’s safe to say that only a handful of people have thought beyond the music’s entertaining surface. After all, what could possibly be art-worthy about an early Mario score? Or any early game sound for that matter?
In search of answers to these questions, Andrew Schartmann takes us on a journey from the primitive "pongs" of arcade machines to the complex musical fabrics woven by composers of the NES era. Where does that distinctly Nintendo-flavored sound come from? What sets NES music apart from its predecessors? And how has that iconic ‘80s videogame sound "invaded" popular culture?
©2013 Andrew Schartmann (P)2014 Audible Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Liam Wright on 01-11-16

Could have used example tracks

Loved the theory but could have used audio examples. Became a bit too droning without.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Stephen on 25-02-15

This book is a missed opportunity

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Granted, this is a short book at a low price point, but an audio format presented a prime opportunity to use clips of the tunes from the games being referenced to enhance the experience. The foreword even makes references to the transcription of certain scores, but those scores are not available in an audio format, despite the fact that the text (was altered to?) say "audio book" and not just "book".

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Ryan on 04-10-17

Great writing

Mr. Schartmann has some great insights into the music behind early video games and Nintendo. For more information, I would recommend his second book Koji Kondo’s Super Mario Bros. This book goes into much more detail about the music theory behind the NES games.

The performance by Kaleo Griffith does not do the book justice. Very disappointed in that.

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