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German rotte

German rotte.jpg RottaThumbnailsHarp, ninth centuryRottaThumbnailsHarp, ninth century

One of the most interesting stringed instruments of the middle ages is the rotta (German, rotte; English, rote). It was sounded by twanging the strings, and also by the application of the bow. The first method was, of course, the elder one. There can hardly be a doubt that when the bow came into use it was applied to certain popular instruments which previously had been treated like the cithara or the psalterium.

Musical Instruments
Written by Carl Engel
Published in 1875
Available from gutenberg.org