Happy September! It’s an important month in my family because my husband’s birthday is September 28th, and he likes to have BIG celebrations with lots of people and lots of music.
The song Happy Birthday to You is one of the most requested songs in a pianist’s repertoire. When we add a piano accompaniment to our singing it just sounds SO MUCH more FULL! I thought I would offer you a few arrangements of Happy Birthday so that you can serenade your loved ones on their big day.
First I have the “Easy” arrangement which might not feel so easy if you are a beginner. You can always just start by playing the right hand melody alone, and writing the letters next to any notes you don’t yet know. Notice that I am playing the eighth notes with a “swing” rhythm- an uneven long-short jaunty rhythm to give the tune a little bounce. This arrangement will only be posted for a year, so print today!
Next is my Intermediate arrangement of Happy Birthday, which is on p.24 of my Upper Hands Piano, BOOK 4. On this page I suggest that Happy Birthday might be a great song to memorize for those times when you might be called upon to provide accompaniment for an impromptu birthday celebration! Once again you can use the ending phrase as an introduction:
Finally, for the more advanced pianist, I arranged Happy Birthday using some jazz chords. There is no intro on this one; just nod your head and start singing to indicate to your fellow singers to start singing with you. Your notes will extend into a dramatic ending as the singers hold out the last “…you.”
Whew! That’s a lot of celebrating! Which arrangement will you be playing? I enjoy them all, but I must admit I’m a sucker for the edgy, slightly dissonant sound of jazz chords.
Sorry my free arrangement was a little late this month. I’ve gotten caught up in a lot of musical projects and lost track of my dates! I hope you have a lovely September as the air cools a bit, and we start the countdown to my very favorite season: Autumn. I hope the air is clean and clear wherever you are in the world, and that you are enjoying the longer nights with a return to some indoor activities such as reading books, journaling, cooking, drinking hot drinks and playing the piano! With love and music, Gaili