Of all the music that I teach to young kids, I usually rely on a surprisingly small handful of pieces to pass on to them. Standards like The Pink Panther, Linus and Lucy, and Let it Be are in my go-to folder. Lately, though, the tides have shifted to a far nerdier realm of music that I am more than happy to explore with my students; the music of classic video games. Last year, I transcribed a simplified version of the Super Mario Theme to add to my folder and I’ve found it’s now the one I’m most frequently copying.
I toyed with the idea of transcribing the full score of the first Mario game but abandoned that goal after I read this article. Someone has already beaten me to it, and quite frankly, I’m relieved. Transcription is a lot of tedious work. Joseph Karam, a pianist who is apparently either unemployed or independently wealthy, spent several months completing this task. Note by note, he etched out eighteen different musical themes complete with optimized fingering. You can even listen to each piece as a MIDI file on his website, and it’s undoubtedly legit. [Read more…]