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(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.
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 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 ?
or have obtained a copy of the song in order to make the tablature.
Part 3 (chapters 14-17), called "Special Studies," has additional information on the Dubin Tablature and its background (chapter 14), and includes "Fingering in the Scheidemann Sources" (chapter 15), "The Catharinen Organ during Scheidemann's Tenure" (chapter 16), and "Scheidemann in Otterndorf: Registration Practice" (chapter 17).
12) Copied in the same hesitant hand as the final lute tablatures, by someone with only a shaky grasp of the language and more used to French, it preserves a version with a corrupt Italian text.
The beginner Baroque guitarist needs a guide before approaching unedited tablature, and James Tyler's new book, A Guide to Playing the Baroque Guitar, appearing just after his death on 23 November 2010, fulfills that need admirably.
Because each chapter is rarely more than a few pages long, performers can quickly reference them as they begin to play from tablatures.
Although Dirksen argues convincingly that this was a matter of compositional choice on the part of the composer, it is worth noting that a fair number of the sources are notated in tablature, which necessitates a score-like layout in a regular number of parts, and that pieces employing free-voiced textures by other composers are reduced to regular four-part textures in tablature sources.
For later volumes, it appears that Romano had access to manuscript versions of Grandi's music, for his fourth and fifth volumes (1623 and 1626) include texts and three nearly identical tablatures from Grandi's 1626 and 1629 books of solo arias.
Strizich continues, "such editions do not faithfully represent the original tablatures and therefore are no longer acceptable by current standards of scholarship.
4] The lute-poem flourished among the poets of the so-called Pleiade group and also among those who lived in Lyons, which was a prosperous center of lutherie and a hub for the printing and diffusion of Italian lute tablatures in the middle third of the century.
His tablatures are notorious among lutenists for their apparent inconsistencies and illogicalities: bars sometimes do not add up to the `right' number of beats; dissonances--often unprepared and/or unresolved--frequently disturb the smooth surface; frantic bursts of fast notes interject themselves at inopportune moments.
1525 to his death, opened his career as a writer with a historic series of three treatises in German, published in 1528--32, that covered the elements respectively of the notation of pitch, of mensural notation and of instruments and their tablatures.