[tab-luh-cher, -choor]
Music. any of various systems of music notation using letters, numbers, or other signs to indicate the strings, frets, keys, etc., to be played.
a tabular space, surface, or structure.

1565–75; < Middle French, Latinization (influenced by Latin tabula board) of Italian intavolatura, derivative of intavolare to put on a board, score Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
tablature (ˈtæblətʃə)
1.  music any of a number of forms of musical notation, esp for playing the lute, consisting of letters and signs indicating rhythm and fingering
2.  an engraved or painted tablet or other flat surface
[C16: from French, ultimately from Latin tabulātum wooden floor, from tabula a plank]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

type of musical notation for lute or stringed instrument, 1574, from Fr. tablature (1553), from L. tabula "table" (see table); infl. by It. tavolatura, from tavolare "to board, plank, enclose with boards."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

tablature tab·la·ture (tāb'lə-chur', -chər)

  1. An engraved tablet or surface.

  2. The cranial bones considered as two laminae separated by the diploe.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Britannica


system of musical notation based on a player's finger position, as opposed to notes showing rhythm and pitch. Tablatures were used for lute and keyboard music during the Renaissance and Baroque eras

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
You'll also learn how to read guitar tablature and chord diagrams, along with re-stringing and tuning the guitar.
There are no chords to fall back on, no sheet music or guitar tablature to buy.
When he would teach you a tune, a jig or a reel or a horn pipe, it was all done in the tablature system.
Rare volumes of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century music tablature are also important.
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