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.