Andrew Schartmann is an affiliate faculty member at Yale's Digital Media Center for the Arts. He holds degrees in music from Yale and McGill, where he taught for several years. In 2011, he was awarded the Schulich School of Music Teaching Award for his course on musical form in the music of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven. Most recently, his pedagogical interests have led him to explore the ways in which digital technology can improve the teaching of music. His companion site for the textbook Analyzing Classical Form (Oxford University Press, 2013) provides an innovative tool to enhance the learning experience.
Schartmann is the author of two books. His Koji Kondo's Super Mario Bros., written for Bloomsbury's acclaimed 33 1/3 series, was lauded by The New Yorker for its "overwhelming precision". He is also the author of Maestro Mario: How Nintendo Transformed Videogame Music into an Art (Thought Catalog, 2013) and serves as an assistant editor at DSCH Journal. His forthcoming book, for Bloomsbury's Influential Video Game Designers series, investigates Keiji Inafune's role in establishing some of the video game industry's foundational design principles.
At present, Schartmann is a PhD candidate in music theory at Yale University. His research focuses on the intersections between technology and composition in early video game music, and more specifically on music for the Nintendo Entertainment System. In particular, his work centers on how technological constraints (e.g., limited memory) nudged composers to write music that repeats extensively without drawing attention to the fact that it is repeating. It also addresses how composers associated specific musical tropes—often borrowed from cinema—with different gaming environments, establishing in the process topical norms for later video game music.