The ancient instrument that was made for Super Mario

Date:26 February 2014 Author: Rogan Louwrens Tags:, ,

In what is destined to be the most impressive video game music cover performed on an ancient instrument of awesome you’re liable to see today, we present to you: the Super Mario Bros theme tune played on the sheng.

Now the sheng, aside from looking like it’d make the One Hat to Rule Them All and In the Darkness Bind Them, is a Chinese wind instrument that wasn’t so much invented as created with the help of a centuries-long flute-breeding programme. I jest, unfortunately. But the sheng is of some considerable antiquity – it goes back to at least 1100BC, which is shorthand for “old as the bunny slippers of Thor”. Sort of.

Anyway, it’s quite something that this instrument sounds almost precisely like the original eight-bit Super Mario score, complete with coin-clinks. I can only imagine the sort of practice it takes to render an NES-era coin using a 3000-year-old flute-thing.

If you’re interested in hearing a more, shall we say, traditional use of the sheng, look no further:

Yes, it kind of looks like she’s playing a Gatling gun harmonica, and yes, it is a crying, stupendous shame that such a thing does not exist.

Whatever. I’m just hoping that at least one of you out there is going to take up the sheng as a career, because that would be awesome.