• WordNet 3.6
    • n tablature a musical notation indicating the fingering to be used
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Tablature (Paint) A painting on a wall or ceiling; a single piece comprehended in one view, and formed according to one design; hence, a picture in general.
    • Tablature (Mus) An ancient mode of indicating musical sounds by letters and other signs instead of by notes. "The chimes of bells are so rarely managed that I went up to that of Sir Nicholas, where I found who played all sorts of compositions from the tablature before him as if he had fingered an organ."
    • Tablature (Anat) Division into plates or tables with intervening spaces; as, the tablature of the cranial bones.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n tablature A tabular space or surface; any surface that may be used as a tablet.
    • n tablature A tabular representation; specifically, a painting or design executed as a tablet on a distinct part of an extended surface, as a wall or ceiling.
    • n tablature Exhibition as in a table or catalogue; an exemplification or specification; a specimen.
    • n tablature In music: The system of rules for the poetry of the mastersingers.
    • n tablature Musical notation in general.
    • n tablature A form of musical notation for various instruments, like the lute, the viol, the flute, the oboe, or the organ, used in Europe from the fifteenth to the beginning of the eighteenth century. It differed from the more general staff-notation in that it aimed to express not so much the pitch of the tones intended as the mechanical process by which on the particular instrument those tones were to be produced. Tablature, therefore, varied according to the instrument in view. In the case of the lute, for example, a horizontal line was usually drawn for each string, forming a kind of staff; and letters or numerals wore placed on these lines, indicating not only which strings were to be touched, but at what frets they were to be stopped. Various arbitrary signs were also used instead of letters or numerals, or in combination with them. Music thus noted was said to be written lyra-way, in distinction from gamut-way (in the staff-notation). In the case of wind-instruments, like the flageolet, points or dots were often placed on horizontal lines to indicate which finger-holes were to be closed to produce the required tones. In the case of the organ, notes were often written out by their letter-names. In all these systems and their numerous variants, marks were added above or below to indicate the desired duration of the tones, the place and duration of rests, and various details of style. Tablature had obvious advantages as a notation for particular instruments. Various technical marks now used are either derived from it or devised on the same principle. The tonic sol-fa notation, that of thorough-bass, and the little-used systems of numeral or character notes are essentially analogous to it. Also tabulature.
    • n tablature In anatomy, the separation of cranial bones into an inner and an outer hard table or plate, with intervening diploic or cancellated structure. Tablature is characteristic of the flat expansive bones of the skull, as the frontal, parietal, and occipital. See table, n., 1 , and cut under diploë.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Tablature tab′la-tūr something tabular: a painting on a wall or ceiling: a picture in general: a method of musical notation, principally employed in the 15th and 16th centuries for the lute:
    • n Tablature tab′la-tūr (anat.) a division of the skull into two tables.
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Cf. F. tablature, ancient mode of musical notation. See Table
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr.,—L. tabula, a board.


In literature:

This set of thoughts is like the tablature prescribed to the singing animal above mentioned.
"Theodicy" by G. W. Leibniz