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HindustanTimes Sat,20 Dec 2014
Sound of Music: that sweet childhood memory
Shreya Sethuraman, Hindustan Times
March 08, 2014
First Published: 17:35 IST(8/3/2014)
Last Updated: 20:02 IST(8/3/2014)

Go back to your childhood and re-visit the charming von Trapp family which inspired the iconic film, The Sound of Music.

Who are the von Trapps?
The von Trapp family lived in Austria in the 1930s – a retired navy officer, Captain Georg von Trapp and his seven children from his first wife. He remarried Maria Kutschera, a nun who came to the family to look after one of the children who suffered from rheumatic fever.

The von Trapp family moved to the United States after Georg refused a post in the Navy, once Hitler took over Austria. They left behind all their belongings and began touring the US as a musical troop known as "The Trapp Family Singers".

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Why are we talking about them?
The last living member of the von Trapp family, Maria von Trapp (not the nun who married the Captain) passed away late last month at the age of 99. She was the third child of Georg and his first wife, Agathe Whitehead.

Maria had written a book about her family's life (published in 1949), which was first made into a German movie. Later, it was adapted as a Broadway musical. Finally in 1965, the movie The Sound of Music was made with Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer in the lead roles and won the Oscar for the Best Picture.

What else?
The popularity of The Sound of Music triggered a wave of tourists to Salzburg, Austria, where the family was originally based.
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Even today, you can visit the places where the movie was shot (like the gazebo where I am sixteen, going on seventeen was shot). There's a Trapp Family Lodge in Vermont, USA as well, where you can relive the movie memories.

What was the movie about?
Loosely based on the memoir of Maria von Trapp, The Sound of Music is a musical. The nun Maria (Julie Andrews) comes to the von Trapp house as a governess to 'discipline' the children, only to fall in love with the dashing Captain, played by Christopher Plummer. Eventually, she marries him.

What now?
Watch the film again for its charm and nostalgic value. Richard Rodgers' music and the lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II are a treat to listen to anytime of the day (or night). And in case you have a loved one, there's no harm in learning the traditional Austrian folk dance, the Ländler!

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