Music and Media in “Trampoline” by Robert Gipe (Outline Guide)

Music and Media

  • Freedom of music

          o   Dawn was happy when her parents left so she could go to concerts (pg. 139)

          o   Dawn talks about Willet for the first time (pg. 3)

  •  “Willet Bilson sounded about my age. He sounded like someone I would like to talk to” (Gipe 3).

          o   Why was music such a release for Dawn? How did her relationship with Willet                       Bilson affect her interaction with music?

  • Generational

          o   Dawn’s Grandpa likes an older kind of music (pg. 142)

  • Types of music

          o   Hippie music or punk

          o   Hippie music: John Lennon, the Beatles, Elton John, Bob Dylan, Neil Young

  • How music affects culture

          o   How does music affect Dawn?

Key Theme: Dichotomy between commercial and local music

Local music has a larger focus on connecting people through experience. Dance halls and folk instruments create an extremely kinetic environment that serves to establish social ties between individuals. It’s tied into religious gatherings as well as secular meetings. It is very much ingrained into the social fabric of the Appalachian region.

Commercial music is not necessarily tied to social gatherings. Therefore, it often seeks to create feelings of nostalgia for folk music or completely deviate from local mountain music. Radio and CDs pander to a completely different audience of people. They can target specific groups of people, such as youth seeking more rebellious sounds like rock, rap, and punk.

Appalachian Myth: All music from the region is folk / bluegrass

Discussion Questions:

  1. How does music become an influential part of Dawn’s life?
  2. What effect does music have on the Appalachian culture?
  3. How did Dawn use music as an escape from the negative parts of her life?
  4. What was the effect of local music in the novel? Do you see the effects of local music in blacksburg or your hometown?
  5. Why did Dawn enjoy punk music?
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