History, Facts and interesting information about Medieval music, specifically, the Rote
Definition and Description of the Rote
Definition and description of the Rote: The Rote can be described as a kind of guitar or the boxlike lyres with straight or waisted sides, the notes of which were produced by a small wheel or wheel-like arrangement, similar to the hurdy-gurdy. Also referred to as a Rotta or the crwth which was the Welsh bowed lyre. The Rote is believed to date back to the 6th century. The origin of this instrument is uncertain and very few have survived. Descriptions of the rote vary from a lyre to a lute and a harp to the hurdy-gurdy. Descriptions of the method of playing the rote varied from being played on the shoulder like a violin, between the knees like a cello, or held vertically against the chest, supported with a strap around the player's neck. The Medieval author Geoffrey Chaucer mentioned the name of the instrument in the following quote:
"Well could he sing and play on a rote."
Family of Instruments: The Rote belongs to the family of String instruments.
Medieval Musical Instruments - Rote
Medieval Musical instruments, including the Rote, would be used by the musicians of the period including the Waits, Minstrels or Troubadours. There were three categories of musical instruments in the Middle Ages - wind, string and percussion. Terms of description were Bas instruments and Haut instruments. Bas referred to soft instruments (literally, "low," but referring to volume, not pitch) which were suitable for the chamber which included the vielle, rebec and other bowed strings, the Rote and other plucked strings. Haut referred to loud instruments (literally "high" but referring to volume, not to pitch) which were suitable for outdoors which included the shawm, sackbut, pipe and tabor. Read the above history, facts and information about the Rote.
Medieval Music - Rote
The Medieval Times website provides interesting facts, history and information about the musicians and styles of music which scatter the history books including Rote. The Medieval Life and Times Sitemap provides full details of all of the information and facts about the fascinating subject of the lives of the people who lived during the historical period of the Middle Ages. The content of this article on Rote provides free educational details, facts and information for reference and research for schools, colleges and homework for history courses and history coursework.