October 2014 Bonus CD: “Rude” by MAGIC!

“Rude” by MAGIC!

Meets National Core Arts Anchor Standards 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7


Perceive and analyze artistic work (Pr4, Re7)

Organize and develop artistic ideas and work (Cr2)

Develop and refine artistic work for presentation (Cr3, Pr5)



Music Alive! Classroom Worksheet 12: Staff Paper (download at musicalive.com/resources/mahandouts.php)

Piano or keyboard, classroom keyboards or other instruments 

START: Play “Rude” by Magic! (either the soundalike version on CD track 1 or the original version:


 DEVELOP: Guide the students through the song with a series of questions and answers


What’s the key signature? (D-flat major.)

What beat does the melody start on? (Beat 3.)

What are the longest and shortest note values here? (Half note; 16th.)

What are the lowest and highest notes? (The F just above middle C; the Af above the staff.)

The song’s main chord progression is G-flat–A-flat–D-flat–B-flat minor. Can anyone identify the harmonic functions of these chords? (IV–V–I–vi.)

Help students with the song’s potentially toughest rhythm, the quarter-note triplet.

  • Without using any notes, have students count in a steady stream of eighth-note triplets: “Trip-uh-let, trip-uh-let, trip-uh-let, trip-uh-let.”
  • Have students place emphasis on every other syllable: “Trip-uh-let, trip-uh-let, trip-uh-let, trip-uh-let.”
  • Take away the non-emphasized syllables: “Trip, let, uh, trip, let, uh.”
  • Have the students tap the rhythms in the verse before singing the section slowly.
  1. Now work on the pre-chorus and chorus, focusing on the trickier spots (for example, the interval between the last note in bar 1 of the chorus and the first note in the following measure—a descending perfect fifth).
  2. Have the class sing the entire song.



  1. Hand out copies of the staff paper and then, on the piano, guitar, or other harmonic instrument, play a basic reggae accompaniment in a repeating one-bar pattern. Have the students transcribe this—the rhythms only. Next, have them write short compositions using these rhythms. Finally, have them take turns playing their pieces on classroom instruments.



Did the students respond to questions about the song’s elements?

Were they engaged in breaking down its rhythms?

Did they sing the song together?

Did they complete their transcriptional and compositional exercise?