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Weirdness: Listen To The Super Mario Theme On A 3,000 Year Old Chinese Instrument

Posted by Conor McMahon

A bit trickier to play than a warp whistle, probably

Doodoo doo do dooo do, dah! - It's the Super Mario theme! Known across the globe and endlessly catchy, this tune has been played on every instrument under the sun, as well a few renditions that should barely count. Hearing a cover version is certainly nothing new, but allow us to present one just a little bit different.

You've more than likely not heard of the Chinese Sheng, but the music played in this clip is much more familiar. It's an ancient reed instrument expertly played by the musician here to replicate not only the Overworld and Underground themes from Mario's original adventure, but in-game sound effects as well.

It's surreal to hear the distinctive noise of mushrooms and coins being collected coming from an instrument dating back to 1100 BC, and even more so when the sheng itself resembles something Sauron from The Lord of the Rings might build on a lazy weekend. That being said, it's a fascinating example of retro meeting the really retro which is definitely worth a listen.

Check it out below and be sure to let us know what you think!

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Many thanks go to Ryan Millar for the tip.


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User Comments (36)



EverythingAmiibo said:

Japan: "Hey China, look at this retro game we made!"
China: "Hey Japan, look at this retro instrument we made... what's that? Yeah, It's playing your tune, 3000 years older and it still sounds better."



GTWarrior77 said:

I couldn't keep the smile off my face while watching this video. Dang, I must have looked like an idiot. Thankfully no one saw me LOL.



koopatroopaX said:

I'm kinda getting a Delfino Island Vibe from this, especially that underground section. Maybe a bit of Yoshi's Island as well.



WingedSnagret said:

So the actual instrument she's playing is 3000 years old? Or the instrument in general is 3000 years old?



ueI said:

That's a cool instrument. Why isn't it internationally known?



Giygas_95 said:

That sounds great! I mean it fits the Mario theme perfectly!

And I love how the author said the instrument looks like Something Sauron would build. He's right! It does!

@WingedSnagret The instrument in general. If it were REALLY 3000 years old, I'm pretty sure it'd be in a museum.



Dolphin64 said:

Sounds like something more from Super Mario Sunshine. (or at least the beta.) B )



argol228 said:

@PvtOttobot I do not know what to even say to that.

I suppose compared to the original version it could be considered better since it is using a real instrument over computer genned. But even that is a bit of a stretch because the instrument is so high pitched and tinny. and now that nintendo use orchestra stuff that single instrument has no chance of sounding better.



Gate_Shikimuri said:

She forgot the first loop and kept repeating the second loop. Point deduction!

Did you make your icon or is it from something else? If it is from something else, where is it from?



argol228 said:

@PvtOttobot ok what did I say that would make you say something like grow up? the fact that I correctly stated that the instrument sounds high pitched and tinny? You are also discrediting an entire music genre, chiptune.



readyletsgo said:

My non gaming friend sent thus to me this morning, couldn't believe it. We all talked about it in the pub later tonight. I totally wanna learn more about this instrument. So many questions



SebCroc said:

Some mistimings and a few wrong notes here and there, but otherwise brilliant!! I love the sound, it's almost like a handheld organ! Looks pretty sophisticated with the key placement too.



JuanitoShet said:

That's amazing. Certainly very unique, in the vast sea of Super Mario Theme music videos. :B



Henmii said:

Cool! And I also like the instrument, it looks like a tower made of pipes!

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