A Dictionary of Music and Musicians/Rota

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ROTA, or ROTTA (Fr. Rote; Germ. Rotte). Not, as might be supposed from its name, a species of vielle or hurdy-gurdy, but a species of psaltery or dulcimer, or primitive zither, employed in the middle ages in church music. It was played with the hand, guitar-fashion, and had seven strings mounted in a solid wooden frame. [App. p.776 "Line 4 of article, omit the words or dulcimer or primitive zither. The instrument is partly analogous to the Welsh Crwth, and would appear to be derived from the ancient lyre. The word Rota is also employed to denote a round or canon, as in the well-known instance of Sumer is icumen in."]

[ E. J. P. ]