Scroll down for a lead sheet for Happy Birthday that includes the melody and chords, with versions of the song in seven different keys. There are also links to the song for piano, recorder, woodwind, brass, and string instruments. Note that I created this arrangement with students in mind, and the opening pickup notes are written as two eighth notes. However, those pickup notes are often played as a dotted eighth - sixteenth note rhythm, as written in the advanced piano version of the Happy Birthday. Either rhythm can be used for the song.
The song Happy Birthday, also known as Happy Birthday to You and The Birthday Song, has a long and complicated history. Many people have claimed that it was originally written in the 1890s by two sisters in Louisville, Kentucky named Patty and Mildred Hill. The Hill sisters claimed that they initially wrote the melody for Patty’s kindergarten students to sing, and it was called Good Morning to All. Eventually, they changed the lyrics and sang it on days when a student had a birthday. The song became a hit very quickly and today it is the most recognized song in the English speaking world.
Over the last 100 years, the song has generated huge sums in copyright revenue. However, there are some scholars who doubt that the Hill sisters did write the work, and there are even more who thought that the work should be in the public domain (meaning that it can be performed without paying royalties). The melody is almost exactly the same as another song that was written as early as 1858, putting it well within the range of public domain. After some significant legal battles and a lot of research, in 2015, a judge declared that Happy Birthday is indeed in the public domain. You can sing it freely in any setting without worrying about paying royalties or infringing on copyright.
Happy Birthday for flute
Happy Birthday for oboe
Happy Birthday for clarinet
Happy Birthday for bassoon
Happy Birthday for alto saxophone
Happy Birthday for tenor saxophone
Happy Birthday for trumpet
Happy Birthday for French horn
Happy Birthday for trombone
Happy Birthday for tuba