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Note blocks are sort of a combination of a trampoline and a block. When Mario or any creature or object that can collide with objects stands on the note block, they will bounce upward, like on a trampoline (and, like with a trampoline, the player can jump as the note block descends to bounce off higher). When the note block is struck from below, it bounces, similarly to what happens when Mario strikes a normal block when not Super.

Items and creatures can be placed inside a note block. If struck from below, the item pops out of the top as normal. If bounced on from above, the item falls out of the bottom of the note block. This includes vines, which will grow downward from the note block until reaching another block.

When a note block is shaken, it becomes a Music Block (beige-colored, with an eighth-note instead of a quarter-note). Music blocks behave identically to note blocks, except that when an object bounces on them from above, it creates a musical tone. The pitch is based on the height of the block on the map (its initial position, if it's on a track), and the timbre is based on the type of object that struck the block. All instruments are low-fi MIDI.

A map can be designed to play music using music blocks if scrolling is at a fixed rate (e.g. an autoscrolling level, or one in which Mario is stuck on a moving platform). Usually, each object is placed directly above the music block and overlapping a cloud block, so that each one hits their music block once. Moving enemies may additionally need to be trapped in a "cage" of blocks so they don't run onto other blocks (or Mario). Long, complex music requires a mix of power-ups and enemies to stay below the stage limits.

Instruments Edit

Object Instrument Note
Mario Steel drum You can't really make predictable music with Mario. You might be able to do something with a limited range of notes if the player doesn't move, in an auto-scrolling level, but the timing would be tough.
Super Mushroom Square wave Includes Weird Mushroom.
Fire Flower Whistle
Mystery Mushroom Pipe organ SMB style only. Specific costumes do not matter.
Super Star Celesta In the New SMB U style, super stars make a chiming noise when they bounce, and are thus usually undesirable to use for music.
1-Up Mushroom Synth Organ Only in Wii U.
Coin Jingle bell Coins only interact with blocks when shot out of a pipe or bill blaster, or when dislodged with a POW block. Using them to make music is therefore extremely difficult.
Shoe Goomba Accordion SMB/SMB3 styles only. Stiletto goomba is the same.
Empty Shoe Wood Block Jump on Shoe Goomba. Same if you shake.
Yoshi Egg (SMW/NSMBU) Cowbell Yoshi will hatch only when on-screen. The egg will stay an egg if off the top or bottom of the screen.
Koopa Clown Car Synth chord
POW block Kick drum
P-Switch Snare drum
Trampoline (vertical) Crash Cymbal
Trampoline (horizontal) Open hi-hat
Goomba Piano
Koopa Troopa (green) Xylophone
Koopa Troopa (red) Vibraphone
Koopa

Troopa

(shell-less)

Dog Bark
Buzzy Beetle Cowbell 2 (Reverb) Includes empty shell.
Spiny Trumpet Includes empty shell.
Piranha Plant Pizzicato Strings
Fire Piranha Plant Legato Strings
Bob-Omb Orchestra hit Same if lit.
Bowser Overdriven electric guitar bass Since you can only have 3 Bowsers in a level, you can't really make music with them. Plus the fire-breathing makes noise.
Bowser Jr. Saxophone Same issue as Bowser.
Spike Top Harpsichord Both colors
Monty Mole Banjo Same if you shake.
Dry Bones Flute
Hammer Brother Electric guitar
Sledge Brother Bass guitar Putting Super Mushroom into Hammer Brother.
Chain Chomp Electric piano 1 Use an unchained chomp for this.
Chain Chomp's post Wood block 2 Use a winged chain chomp for this to work.
Wiggler Tubular bell Same if angry.
Magikoopa Choir vox Magikoopas only teleport and attack if they appear on-screen. They'll stay put if off the top or bottom.
Bill Blaster Kettle drum Red or black.
Cannon Timbale drum Red or black.
Thwomp Bongo Thwomps are virtually impossible to use for music--they bounce continually if not prevented from re-descending with a cloud, bridge or semisolid platform, but they "thwomp" loudly if they land on one of those.
Muncher Electric piano 2
Yoshi (SMW, NSMBU) Oboe Shake the egg.
Big Mushroom Shamisen Use an amiibo Super Mario Bros. 30th Anniversary.

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