Pianist Performs ‘Happy Birthday’ in Different Musical Styles With Increasing Levels of Complexity

Wired presents pianist and composer Nahre Sol performing the classic “Happy Birthday” song in a variety of different styles, each one more complex than the last.

Sol started off with a one-finger version of the song before adding in such musical techniques as harmony, alternating notes, arpeggios, melody manipulation, trilling, and triplets. Sol’s final amazing variation of the song encompassed all of that and much more. Despite her apparent musical ease, Sol stated that she had difficulty with the word complexity.

Complexity isn’t something that can be straightforwardly measured in music, yet it’s been an interesting exercise to notice the different nuances that are involved in creating something that’s complex. …In this case, I chose to apply it to certain aspects of music composition and it was about the architecture of things. Tomorrow I may look at this challenge – if I were to revisit it and focus on an entirely different aspect of music, whether it’s sonority or textures or something completely different. There are a lot of creative choices along the way
that affect how the final product will turn out to be.