temperance bands and the rise of the flute in Ireland
A comment on the sleeve note of Kevin Krell’s "Woodenflute Obsession" CDs that I only just noticed: "the flute probably became popular in [rural Ireland in the second half of the 19th century] because of the development of a band movement, initiated in Father Mathew’s temperance movement and perhaps facilitated by British military bandsmen and the development of seasional migratory labour between the west of Ireland and England or Scotland".
Anybody done a history of the temperance band movement? What I can find on the web relates mainly to the Protestant North, but temperance seems to have been a far bigger movement in Catholic Ireland - it was a huge phenomenon (and one that could easily link up with nationalism for an extra political boost). The Northerners seem to have done similar stuff to Orange bands today, which is a bit peripheral to the Irish mainstream. It’s the Catholic side I’m more interested in.
I am a bit sceptical about the role of seasonal migratory workers. Why would working on a railway line in the Midlands or a potato farm in the Lothians encourage you to take up the flute in a band when you got back to Mayo?