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The Society of Folk Dance Historians (SFDH)

Kolo Grammar
By Ivan "John" Filcich, 2014

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Ivan John Filcich



Another point of grammar is that in titles of songs, dances, etc., only the first letter in the first word is capitalized; the rest remain in lower case.

Examples are: Mangupsko kolo, Rokoko kolo, and also Turopoljski drmeš.

An exception, as in English, for proper nouns, such as names of people, cities, etc., begin with a capital letter.
(Ron Houston got raked over the coals by the director at Jugoton many decades ago when he showed him the nice brochure that he had prepared with all the folk music they issued up to that time – all words capitalized as in German!)

Of course, for those who are not familiar with the language, everything looks okay, is understood, and serves the purpose. But native speakers would hear a dangling adjective unless followed by a noun, kolo.

And if you add such a noun to another noun you have two nouns in a row, which would be redundant.

One source of confusion has been the practice by some record companies, who sometimes used two nouns separated by a dash, such as Seljančica - Kolo. Others might copy this title and omit the dash, not knowing its importance.

And, as for the capitalization, record companies usually capitalized every first letter as a matter of practice, and most folk dancers simply copied what they saw on the record.


Printed in Folk Dance Problem Solver, 2014.

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