You don’t need musical instruments to play the famous Nintendo theme’s opening, just writing instruments.

The Super Mario theme is one of the most famous and instantly recognizable pieces of music not just in the world of video games, but arguably modern instrumental composition in general. As soon as you hear those seven opening notes, you can’t help but smile as images of the Nintendo mascot running and jumping through a brightly colored virtual world come to mind.

The tune is so famous that when franchise creator Shigeru Miyamoto appeared on U.S. TV, he sat in with The Roots to play a cover of it. But you don’t have to be a professional musician in order to play the Mario theme. As a matter of fact you don’t even need an instrument, as you can play the opening part with just a pen and paper!

And no, you don’t have to use the pen like a drumstick, audibly tear the paper, or in any other way use the items for anything other than their standard purpose. As shown in the video from Japanese Twitter user Mewhan (@bknb_mew), all you have to do is write the number 441, and you’ll perfectly replicate the rhythm of the Mario theme’s first seven notes.

Online commenters were amazed by the musical potential of their writing instruments, reacting with:

“Whoa, that’s totally surreal!”
“The rhythm really does match up with the Mario theme.”
“Mewhan, you’re a genius!”
“I want to say she’s brilliant for figuring this out, but it’s also kind of ridiculous, so I’m in a bind.”

The slightly harsh tone of that last comment might be in regard to the second half of Mewhan’s video, when she reveals her second discovery. In Mewhan’s opinion, repeatedly writing unko, the Japanese word for poop in phonetic katakana characters (like this: ウンコ) also synchs up with a piece of Mario audio history: the music that plays when you grab an invincibility star.

▼ The demonstration starts at the 17-second mark.

By the way, if you’re wondering if Mewhan also has more traditional musical talent, she does, as she’s a singer songwriter who’s about to release her second album, titled Yaminabe.

▼ Cover art for Yaminabe, which means “Dark Hot Pot”

▼ A sample of her first album, Hikikomori Johojakusha

Thanks to her 441 video though, right now all we can hear in our heads is the Mario theme.

Source: Twitter/@bknb_mew via Jin
Top image: Nintendo

Follow Casey on Twitter, where he now wants to see if writing 765 matches up with any of the music from Ridge Racer.