Rainbow Notes (also known as Music Notes) are items from the Mario series that first appeared in Super Mario Galaxy, and later reappeared in its sequel, Super Mario 3D Land, and Super Mario Odyssey.


Super Mario Galaxy

They usually appear when a ? Coin is collected, although the ones in the Gold Leaf Galaxy are an exception to this as they appear when the player uses the Star Cursor to ring a bell. They will then line up, and Mario must collect them all before they disappear to receive a prize, such as a 1-Up Mushroom. The background music is muted while the notes are active. Each note makes a different sound, and together they usually form a jingle or tune from a different game in the Mario series. In some levels, Mario has to collect them all to receive a Power Star, such as in the Hurry-Scurry Galaxy, the Gold Leaf Galaxy, and the Sea Slide Galaxy.

Super Mario Galaxy 2

Rainbow Notes functions remain unchanged, but now appear in the Throwback Galaxy, the Boo Moon Galaxy and the Puzzle Plank Galaxy.

Super Mario 3D Land

Rainbow Notes this time are activated by P-Switches. If Mario collects them all while in Small or Super form, he will earn a power-up; otherwise, he will receive a 1-Up Mushroom.

Super Mario Odyssey

Rainbow Notes are activated by a rainbow-colored treble clef appearing in the Sand Kingdom, the Desert Oasis, the Jaxi maze, Tostarena Town - and the Metro Kingdom, only playing chromatic scales instead of a melodies. Collecting all Rainbow Notes in a set awards a Power Moon.

Themes that Rainbow Notes play

  • The chromatic scale (only in the Super Mario Galaxy games and Super Mario Odyssey)
  • The underground theme from Super Mario Bros. (only in Super Mario Galaxy)
  • The underwater theme from Super Mario Bros.
  • The bonus area theme from Super Mario World
  • The first few notes of the Super Mario Bros. 3 athletic theme (only in Super Mario 3D Land)
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