The US National Library of Congress takes music from Super Mario Bros. for the Nintendo Entertainment System in the National Recording Registry. This is because of the meaning that music holds for the country.
It is the first time that video game music has been played included In the National Recording Registry, which also features music from Alicia Keys, Jay-Z, Ricky Martin, Radiohead, Mariah Carey, and many more. Non-music can also end up on the record. For example, Carl Sagan’s The Pale Blue Dot is present, but so is an episode of the This American Life podcast about the 2008 financial crisis.
About Japanese composer Koji Kondo, the NLOC says: “Few musicians whose works have been so recognized for decades, while the artist remains relatively unknown.” Library Kondo quoted from a recent interview: “The amount of data we could use for music and sound effects was very small, so I had to get really innovative and take full advantage of the music and programming ingenuity we had at the time. Use all kinds of genres that match what It was happening on screen, and we had jingles to encourage players to try again after finishing ‘the game’, perseverance to congratulate them on achieving goals, and pieces that rushed because there was so little time left.”
Adding to the National Recording Registry means not only recognizing “cultural, historical, or aesthetic significance,” but also taking steps to ensure that the recording is preserved for future generations. Other parties already do this, especially for popular recordings, and in this case the Library of Congress does nothing in this area.
Along with Mario’s music, recordings from Jackie DeShannon, John Lennon, Led Zeppelin, John Denver, Eurythmics, The Police, and more will be added this year. The initiative has existed since 2002.
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