History, Facts and
interesting information about Medieval music,
specifically, the Rote
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
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
Medieval Musical instruments, including the Rote, would be used by the musicians
of the period including the Waits,
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.
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.