Flow experiences are different from the normal state of consciousness. It is therefore useful to look at how earlier research has represented altered states of consciousness, and how that relates to flow in musical performances. This was partly inspired by Maslow’s studies of peak experience − discussed in Chapter 1 − but also by a few jazz musicians’ writings, in which flow is compared to trance states. In these writings, links were made between shamanism and musically induced altered states of consciousness. Therefore, I also discuss shamanism and consider these claims in relation to the material provided in the previous chapters.

Altered States of Consciousness and Transcendence