ABSTRACT

In this chapter I look at the contextual issues associated with flow. Some of these arise from my interest in whether flow occurred only in improvisation, as I initially assumed based on my own experiences; others involve questions about whether the size of the band or the musical material have an impact on flow. I will also examine the frequency and duration of flow and whether flow can be detected by the audience. There is a short discussion on flow in other musical genres and cultures, although this is a side note rather than a serious effort to map cultural and genre differences. Finally I will look at how alcohol and drugs affect flow. These discussions are mostly based on published printed sources as ethical constraints prohibited me from asking such questions in the interviews. In a few interviews, the connection between jazz and drugs was mentioned unsolicited, and I have used those comments but preserved the respondent’s anonymity.