School of Arts and Cultures

Staff Profiles

Dr Paul Fleet

Deputy Head of School and Senior Lecturer



A balanced academic journey is of paramount importance to our educational development. I firmly believe in this and have done so since leaving school and working in a recording studio whilst studying at College and playing in a band.  

Aged 19, I recognised a gap in the market and set up a business as travelling private music teacher.  I created innovative learning strategies for my students that were not purely exam focussed (many of these students I am proud to say are now educators in primary, secondary and tertiary education), and I scaled its provision throughout my undergraduate and postgraduate studies.  In 2007 I completed my PhD and, after a short while teaching music theory and practice in local HEIs, I became a lecturer at Newcastle University whilst publishing my first monograph: Ferruccio Busoni: A Phenomenological Approach to his Music and Aesthetics (2009).

I have most recently been the Dean of Academic Affairs for Newcastle University London where I worked with businesses in the City to create 'industry informed' education through my REILTE strategy (Research & Employer Informed Learning & Teaching Excellence).  I have led significant curriculum design and redesign as a Director of Excellence in Learning and Teaching, as a Degree Programme Director, and as a Chair of Board of Studies; I have looked after and advised several educational partnerships; and I am an academic advisor to exam bodies, the academic lead for Newcastle’s lecture capture provision, a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

My current role as Deputy Head of the School of Arts and Cultures at Newcastle University involves me looking after Music, Fine Art and Media, Culture, Heritage’s digital profile, our international strategy, and elements of our staff’s wellbeing which includes a set of email principles seeking to restore our work/life balance. 

Current Roles and Responsibilities

- Senior Lecturer in Music

- Deputy Head of the School of Arts and Cultures

- Academic Lead for ReCap

- Chair of the Single Recognition Panel

Prior Roles and Responsibilities

- Dean of Academic Affairs (Newcastle University London)

- Director of Excellence in Learning and Teaching for the School of Arts and Cultures

- Chair of the Newcastle University London Academic Procedures and Policy Committee

- External Examiner for Edinburgh Napier University BA (hons) Popular Music programme

- Chair of Board of Examiners for Music

- Chair of PEC for the School of Arts and Cultures

- Senior Tutor for Music

- Chair of Board of Examiners for the FdA in Music Production and the FdA in Popular Music for Newcastle College


Most Recent External Activities

- Delegate at the Royal Academy of Music Aural Skills Pedagogy Symposium (2017)

- Academic Representative at Dame Allan's Bridging the Gap between Curriculum and Careers (2017)

- Academic Representative at the CPA Australia Future Leaders' Luncheon (2016)

- Speaker at the RSA Regional Showcase Conference (2015)

- Academic Advisor to the NCFE (from 2015)

- Delegate at IASPM/APME/NAMHE Research in Popular Music Education Symposium (2015)

- External Examiner for Edinburgh Napier University BA (hons) Popular Music programme (from 2014/15)

- Delegate at Westminster Higher Education Forum on Innovative Approaches to curriculum design and delivery in Higher Education (27th November 2014)

- Validation Panel Member for QAA Access to HE Diploma (Music) for Gateshead College and Middlesborough College (13th May 2014)

- Delegate at Popular Music and Pedagogy Conference sponsored by the Higher Education Academy and IASPM (24th January 2014)

 - Lecture on Ferruccio Busoni and Time-Consciousness given to Master's Students at Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée (25th March 2013)

- Chair of Board of Examiners for the Foundation Degrees in Music Production and Popular Music at Newcastle College (2011 - present). 

- External Academic Representative for the revalidation of Foundation Degree in Popular Music Performance and Production at City College Norwich (2011).

- External Academic Representative for the validation of the BA in Creative Practice at City College Norwich (2011).



- Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

- Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts

- International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM) 

- Performing Right Society for Music 



Research Themes

  • Music theory and analysis.
  • Metatonality: Music that is both with and after tonality.
  • The music and aesthetics of Ferruccio Busoni.
  • Phenomenology and Time-Consciousness.
  • Embodied Learning.
  • Popular Music Education.
  • Learning and Teaching.


Current Research Projects


Musics with and after tonality: Mining the Gap.  Editor and Author.  Agreed with Routledge (for 2019)

Mining the Gap is a journey through the musics that emerged at the turn of the 20th century and were neither exclusively tonal nor serial.  They fall between these labels as they are metatonal, being both with and after tonality, in their reconstruction of external codes and gestures of Common Practice music in new and idiosyncratic ways.  The composers and works being considered in this volume are approached from analytic, cultural, creative, and performance angles by musicologists, performers and composers to enable a deeper reading of these musics by readers, scholars, and students alike.  For example, an educated reader of musicology may know some of the works of Busoni, Grainger, Nielsen and Skryabin but may not have encountered their works in the manner in which they will be discussed; and they may not know of the pieces by Beach, Carillo, Čiurlionis, Clarke, Foulds, Hába, Howe, Ives, Schulhoff, Sorabji or Stein.  In the process of engaging with this book the reader will find an enrichment to their own understanding of music at the turn of the 20th Century.


Key Stage 1 & 2 Teaching Pack: North East Women in Science through Artistic Encounters

Following the success of the British Academy Funded Project: #forgetting2remember, Prof. Kaner (FMS), Dr Blake (SAgE), Katie Chappell (Freelance Illustrator), Helen Allis (PhD Candidate in Education, Communication and Language Sciences at NCL), and myself are creating a Key Stage 1 and 2 teaching pack that brings the national curriculum themes of Animals including humans, Everyday materials, Seasonal changes, Living things and their habitats, and Plants together with scientists and artists who have a North Eastern connection to create a synthesis of art and science in the past and present, and ultimately offer primary school teachers a ready-to-use pack of materials that opens young minds to an idea that science is an option open to anyone, has a home across a range of subjects, and can be expressed and discovered through the arts.


The Time of Your Life: How to get the most out of your undergraduate degree by slowing down.  Co-authored with Dr Don Miller (HCA at NCL Uni) and in process.

This book will act as a guide for how to get the most from a university degree programme, engage and navigate through the framework of a university, and take advantage of the tools and mechanisms within a university without these elements controlling the experience.  The trick is simple: slow down.  In sympathy with the increasing awareness of the slow movement as a mode of being in the present (Berthelsen, 1999), drawing upon a classical maxim attributed to the Roman Emperor Augustus ‘make haste, slowly’, and the proposal for slowing down the academy (Berg and Seeber, 2016), this manual offers guidance and opportunities for the prospective and current undergraduate student to take control of their learning experience and get the most from their degree.  In short, it enables the student to gain a clearer understanding of what s/he can expect from the university and what the university expects from its students.


Companion to Aural Training in Music Education. Co-Editor with Dr Kent Cleland (Baldwin Wallace Conservatory, Ohio) and in process.

The Companion to Aural Training in Music Education speaks to musicians, musicologists, and music educators in recognising the place and value of aural training in academic studies.  It is a survey of the current landscape, a voice for the shared concerns by those involved in Further, Higher, and Conservatoire music education on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, and importantly it is a guide to a future of aural training that recognises its place within the study of music.  The companion regards aural training as a life-long skill that is prepared for during studies and continued to be practiced into the life of profession musician. It does not see barriers in the different genres of music but recognises the similarities and differences of investigation needed to explore these musics.  The authors offer perspectives from emic and etic positions and go on to propose models and methods that can be integrated into the artistic training of professional musicians through their formal aural skills courses.


Creative FUSE North East funded: NEone Creative, Driving Freelancer Fusion

I am an influencer in this project working with Mark Bailey (Northumbria University), Nate Sterling (Freelance) and Laura McKay (Freelance).  NEone Creative is an early-stage online platform designed to promote open-source creative practice between individuals. This project will respond to the challenges identified for freelancers in the Creative Fuse Initial report, and aims to develop a digital platform designed to lead to face-to-face collaboration between freelancers and larger organisations, and other freelancers.  A consortium of people from various working environments, NEone Creative: Driving Freelancer Fusion will create and pilot a refined prototype platform and launch this amongst the Creative Fuse network of freelancers.



Prior Research Projects


British Academy Funded Project: #forgetting2remember

I was the PI on a British Academy funded project that considered the role of women in science through creative responses.  Drawing from colleagues across the three faculties of medicine (Prof. Eileen Kaner), science (Dr Lynsay Blake) and humanities (myself) at Newcastle University and in partnership with the Electric Voice Theatre, the public and school focussed event showcased science ‘being done’ in an active environment at the Northern Rock Foundation Hall at the Sage Gateshead, UK on September 2017.  A short video of the event can be found at



I've heard there was a secret chord: Do we need to teach music notation in UK Popular Music Studies? in The Routledge Research Companion to Popular Music Education (2017).

 ‘…teachers as enablers of knowledge have a duty of care to their students to ensure that when their student leaves their degree awarding institution nothing is left out of the provision that is tangible and/or part of their potential wider practice. Instead, the student who elects to study their chosen discipline within a UK HEI is empowered, their skills are enriched, and they leave as musicians who are able to engage with the wealth of opportunities available to the 21st Century musician.’ [closing statement]



Rethinking the Guidonian Hand for twenty-first century Musicians in the Journal of Popular Music Education (2017).

 ‘The immediate recognition and description of the thirteen enharmonic intervals within an octave is a quest upon which students on popular music degree programmes frequently embark, but which they rarely complete. The problem often lies in a disconnect between the sound heard and the sound recognized when the task is undertaken without recourse to an instrument. During the eleventh century, Guido d’Arezzo used the joints on the hand (phalanges) to help music students recognize and sing intervals from hexachords. This article considers rethinking this tool with regard to recent investigations into corporeal intentionality. The approach is developed across three short incremental exercises that are designed for the twenty-first century musician. It begins by connecting the familiar singing of a major scale whilst pointing to the phalanges of the hand, moving towards inflecting the scale by singing and pointing to non-sequential intervals.’ [abstract]


GILES First Exercise: 

GILES Second Exercise: 

GILES Third Exercise: 


Newcastle Institute for Social Renewal Funded Project: Hearing History

The ‘Hearing History’ workshops actively engaged the public to confront the processes of committing sound to a medium to be stored and what it means to capture the sounds of the past to be then reheard in a future present. It was interesting to hear the fascination in the simplicity of the early technologies and then watch them instinctively reach for their mobile phones to record the recordings that had just been made and were playing back on the wax cylinders and the vinyl lathe. The attendees at the workshops were mixed in age, gender and social class and all had an interest in the idea of not only seeing and hearing but also using these technologies. Many of the attendees were taken by seeing the technologies in action, the cutting of the sound onto the surface and then its tracing in playback. Attendees also came to reconsider the ambient sound of these early recordings as something separate from the sound object itself.  A short video of the event can be found at


Ferruccio Busoni: A Phenomenological Approach to his Music and Aesthetics. Lambert Academic Publishing (2009).

This book explores the various reconstructions of Ferruccio Busoni (1866-1924) as a musician and an aesthetician, and then demonstrates how Husserlian Phenomenology can act as a complementary structure to Busoni’s music and aesthetic beliefs. Prior models of phenomenological analysis are discussed, and a fresh methodology is introduced alongside a new form of analysis: Temporal Intentionality Graphs. Further, a new term is created, metatonal, which reflects music like Busoni’s that is both with and after tonality but is not free atonal in the manner of the Second Viennese School nor just a matter of tonal harmony with chromatic colouration. Five analyses are presented that employ this new methodology and which uncover the inner workings of Busoni’s compositions: Nach der Wendung (1907), Fantasia nach J.S. Bach (1909), Berceuse Élégiaque (1909), Sonatina Seconda (1912) and Nocturne Symphonique (1913). The book concludes with a critical appraisal of the method and its application, and an outline for how the analysis can be used by music theorists to explore similarly woven compositions.



Teaching 2017-18

Undergraduate Module Leader and Teaching

Music Theory Modules

These three modules aims to provide the student with a choice of foundational skills in music writing and production, covering an introduction to Western tonal, modal and harmonics practices, as applied in Western European art music, acoustic folk and popular musics, and techniques of music production in the recording studio. It aims to help the student build upon, or learn from scratch theoretical knowledge, aural abilities (through using Research-led-Teaching in GILES:, music notation skills, studio approaches and techniques, and to ultimately cultivate a musically intelligent practice and a practical musical intelligence. Skills learned inform stage 2 and 3 modules in composition, analysis, and performance, as well as offering secure theoretical grounding for historical and cultural theory modules.

Practising Music Analysis

This module is aimed at helping the student explore the workings of music: how pieces of music hang together, how music as sound organised around events is meaningful in musical (as well as in any other) terms. The case-study approach is intended to foster coverage of various musical pieces. 

Contemporary Musical Materials

Students will be introduced to a variety of different musical practices, from a variety of different contemporary and popular practices, and will study these examples with reference to their musical material. Some approaches will be analytical but others will deal with musical forms that are seemingly resistant to conventional analysis.  Students will engage with the current research of staff in the delivery of this module and be encouraged to think of themselves as active participants in the research activity.

Undergraduate Teaching 

  • MUS1010: Music Theory: Technique and Practice in Studio Production
  • MUS1020: Music Theory: Technique and Textures in Common Practice
  • MUS1050: Music Theory: Folk and Traditional Textures and Techniques
  • MUS2004: Themes in Musical Modernism
  • MUS2018: Contemporary Musical Materials
  • MUS2044: Practising Music Analysis
  • MUS3013: Major Specialist Study Dissertation
  • MUS3015: Major Specialist Study Project
  • MUS3017: Minor Specialist Study Dissertation
  • MUS3019: Minor Specialist Study Project



  • MUS8160/1/2: Debates in the Philosophy and Theory of Music
  • MUS8160/1/2: Music Analysis for Postgraduates
  • PhD Supervisor for Chris Whiting