Roy Harris,a twentieth-century composer ofclassical music,got into trouble when he used part ofthe song in his "Symphonic Dedication," which honored the birthday of another American composer, Howard Hanson. Variety reported, "Keeping the occasion in mind, Harris brought his composition to a climax with a modern treatment of'Happy Birthday.' After Harris' piece had been introduced by the Boston Symphony he was compelled by the copyright owners to delete the 'Happy Birthday' passage from his score." P.D.Q. Bach, the "Weird Al" Yankovic of the classical-music world, avoided using any strains of "Happy Birthday to You" in a birthday ode to his father because he was afraid of being sued. Instead, he based it on a traditional German birthday song.Even Igor Stravinsky was slapped on the wrist when he cited a few bars of "Happy Birthday to You" in one of his symphonic fanfares (the composer reportedly assumed it was an old folk tune).Link (via Waxy)
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.