Jørgen Erichsen
A merry Journey through Music History
Variations on "Happy Birthday to you"
in the Style of various Composers
     a page from the website josebamus.dk

Many years ago I composed this musical joke as a birthday present for one of my friends. You are welcome to make a free copy of the music and you may also make a performance for free in private circles. But you should be aware, that the music is protected by copyright, which means that it may not be printed or recorded without my permission, and copyright law also takes effect if the music is played in public or broadcast.

How to use the MIDI–files as a birthday greeting

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  J. S. Bach: Overture from the Brandenburg Birthday Cantata No.3
Here the first movement from Bachs famous Brandenburg Concerto no.3 has made
a happy alliance with "Happy Birthday".
  W. A. Mozart: Minuet from "Eine kleine Geburtstagsmusik"
Here "Happy Birthday" is arranged in the form of a typical Mozart-minuet; musical quotations from one of Mozart's own minuets (K.V.282, 2.mov.) also appear.
  Ludwig van Beethoven: Sonata quasi una Fantasie
Intense outbursts of feeling alternate with the softest harmonies. Towards the end the "Moonshine Sonata" shows up - and then you will be surprised!
  Franz Schubert: Greetings from Vienna
It's the light side of Schubert you recognize in this little "Ländler", but it should be mentioned that Schubert's music has many more facets.
  Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy: Birthday March
It begins similar to Mendelssohn's famous "Wedding March" and you also recognize other motifs from this march - but the theme itself has been exchanged with "Happy Birthday".
  Robert Schumann: A little Piano Concerto
Here "Happy Birthday" is mingled together with motifs from Schumann's piano concerto, from the piano piece "Aufschwung" (op.12.no.1) and from "Dichterliebe".
  Frédéric Chopin: Fantasie-Impromptus sur une thême populaire
Here are no musical quotations, but you easily recognize the brillant style of Chopin with the florid use of runs and trills.
  Johannes Brahms: Intermezzo
The connoisseurs of Brahms will immediately be reminded of his Intermezzo op.118 no.2. Here "Happy Birthday" has the flavour of the "tristesse", which is characteristic of Brahms.
  Richard Wagner: Tristan's Birthday Song for Isolde
The Tristan chord (possibly the most famous chord in music history) is not lacking when "Happy Birthday" is arranged in the style of Wagner. Also "The flying Dutchman" makes his appearance.
  Johann Strauss: Happy Birthday Waltz
Even without musical quotations you will definitely be reminded of "The blue Danube" and other waltzes by Johann Strauss. In case you are not able to play the Ravel Bolero (which demands two pianists) you can very well bring your performance to an end here.
  Maurice Ravel: Bolero pour und Infante vivante (for piano 4 hand)
Like Ravel's famous Bolero this piece is shaped as a long crescendo and also you recognize the exciting rhythmic motif that sounds from the first to the last bar. The title (in English: Bolero for a Princess alive) is a paraphrase of another wellknown title by Ravel: "Pavane pour une Infante defunte" (Pavane for a dead Princess).