(redirected from Guitar tablature)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical.


(tăb`ləcho͝or), in music, a generic system of musical notationmusical notation,
symbols used to make a written record of musical sounds.

Two different systems of letters were used to write down the instrumental and the vocal music of ancient Greece. In his five textbooks on music theory Boethius (c.A.D. 470–A.D.
..... Click the link for more information.
 indicating actions that the player must take, rather than "representing" the music itself that will result from those actions. Tablatures have been in use in the West since the early 14th cent., mostly for keyboard and plucked string instrument. Most used a horizontal grid read from left to right, with letters or numbers indicating the production of pitches, and rhythmic signs above. In the 16th and 17th cent., differing systems existed in Germany, Italy, Spain and France. Tablatures are used today to notate music for guitar and ukulele. These have vertical lines representing strings of the instrument, horizontal lines for the frets, and dots to show the position of the fingers.


See W. Apel, The Notation of Polyphonic Music, 900–1600 (4th ed. 1953).



a system of musical notation with letters or numbers, in use from the 15th to the 17th century. Tablature existed in several national variants, and the tablatures for individual instruments, such as the lute, organ, and harpsichord, also had their own distinguishing features. In organ tablature, the letters or numbers designated notes, and they were written on a staff assigned to an individual part; music for several parts was written on several staffs. In lute tablature, the letters or numbers designated the positions at which the strings were pressed to the fingerboard. The duration of the sounds and pauses was indicated by special symbols. Tablature was gradually replaced by the simpler and clearer staff notation (seeNOTATION).


1. A tabular surface or structure.
2. A painting or design on a part of an extended surface, as a ceiling.
References in periodicals archive ?
Berry comments, "We're thrilled that we were able to pull this off -- a fully featured tab player, including real-time rendering of guitar tablature and music notation, let alone MIDI audio synthesis, all on a mobile device.
the market leader in downloadable sheet music and guitar tablature, indicates its year-to-date sales growth remains robust.
Higgenson's publishing administrator, and Alfred Publishing for their work on the arrangement of the song's sheet music and guitar tablature.
com, the online leader in downloadable sheet music and guitar tablature, announced today it surpassed the one million customer mark in early September and also sold its three-millionth download on October 26.
Developed to provide an exciting new way for guitarists and songwriters to produce and convert guitar tablature, G7 delivers unparalleled ease-of-use and product features never available before in tab software, and is designed for use with PC or Mac platforms (including Mac OS X).
Dozens of other templates are also provided such as Lead Sheet, Chamber Orchestra, Jazz Band, Guitar Tablature or SATB with piano.
Surprisingly, there is little difference between the lute and guitar tablatures from the 1500s to 1700s and a modern day "tab" or chord chart.
Following the discussion of sources and repertories proper, appendices to part 2 include a "Brief Guide to Reading and Interpreting Baroque Guitar Tablatures," as well as information on tuning and stringing, which will be very useful to performers as well as musicologists involved in the study and editing of this repertory.