1. 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.
2. 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. (Evelyn)
3. (Science: anatomy) division into plates or tables with intervening spaces; as, the tablature of the cranial bones.
Origin: Cf. F. Tablature ancient mode of musical notation. See Table.