FILE UNDER POPULAR - a book by Chris Cutler published by

FILE UNDER POPULAR - a book by Chris Cutler published by

One primary need should be emphasized: that musicians themselves develop a theory of music and culture derived from their practices. Such a theory, accompanied by a struggle for meaningful forms, must be the starting point of our action.

"File Under Popular" is a collection of essays on the political theory of popular music by British musician, composer, and theorist Chris Culter.

The promotion of the book and the conversation about it was organized as part of the event "Festival in Opposition - Arts and Politics of Improvisation", on Friday, October 28 at 8 pm in CK13. Participants in the conversation are: Chris Cutler, Ozren Lazić, Howard Slater, Paul Abbott, Zoran Pantelić, Stevan Kovacs Tickmayer

The translation of the book from English into Serbo-Croatian was realized by Ozren Lazić, and the publisher is

From the translation of the book: "In everyday speech, the term 'popular', whatever it means, is always opposed to the term 'classical' or 'artistic', which, historically speaking, expresses the class difference. Yet in this second, ‘progressive’ form, we find ‘popular’ music that largely contains significant qualities characteristic of artistic and classical music. Its social views, the way it originates and distributes, its production relations may be fundamentally different, but many formal elements and especially the levels of discourse are essentially the same. Of all the music that can be called popular, I think that these represent the most significant transitional forms and suggest upcoming changes. Also, they must clearly indicate a deep and radical aspiration (within industrial society as a whole) towards the original classlessness. By this, I mean the end of privilege, inequality, and exploitation. ”(From the essay“ What is Popular Music? ”, Chris Cutler)

You can download the book in pdf format from the attachment to this page.


Chris Cutler is a percussionist, composer, lyricist, and music theorist. Of the many engagements, the most famous are those with the Avant rock group Henry Cow, as well as with Art Bears, News From Babel, Cassiber, The (ec) Nudes, P53, The Science Group, Pere Ubu ... Dealing with music for over four decades, Cutler can be heard on over a hundred music releases. Of the numerous collaborations, those with John Rose, Fred Frith, Zeena Parkins, Iancu Dumitrescu, Peter Blegvad, and Stevan Kovac Tickmayer, etc. can be highlighted. Cutler also runs an independent label, Record Records. Together with associates from Henry Cow, he initiated the Rock in the Opposition movement, which articulated demand for resistance to the music industry to promote the work of marginalized music groups whose music did not enter the radar of commercial music companies because it was based on experimentation and improvisation. In the field of music theory, he deals with avant-garde, popular music, technology, improvisation, the problem of using other people's music in composing, etc. He is the author of the book File Under Popular (1983), a collection of theoretical and critical texts on music from the perspective of artists. Since 2012, he has been releasing radio lectures Probes, in which he discusses the history of music from the perspective of the development of music production through the web radio program of the MACBA Museum in Barcelona.
RWM - Radio Web MACBA:

Information on translation and publication of the book:

Title: File Under Popular 

Author: Chris Cutler

Publisher: New Media, Novi Sad

Braće Mogin 2, box 22, 21113 Novi Sad

Year of publication: 2016

Translation from English: Ozren Lazić,

Proofreading & editing:, GCP

Graphic design: & Sputnik

Illustrations: Dirk Vallons

Print: Daniel print, Novi Sad

Circulation: 500

CIP - Cataloging in a publication
Matica Srpska Library, Novi Sad

ISBN 978-86-88567-19-0

The publication was published within the project "Aesthetic Education Extended", which is realized in cooperation with with the Multimedia Institute from Zagreb, Kontrapunkt from Skopje, Berliner Gazette, and Kulturtreger/Booksa from Zagreb.

The project is supported through Creative Europe (2014-2020) program of the European Commission, including the support of the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia, the European Cultural Foundation Amsterdam - BAC program, the Provincial Secretariat for Culture and Public Information and the City of Novi Sad.

This publication indicates the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.


The project "Aesthetic Education Extended" was supported by: