tablature (n.) Look up tablature at
type of musical notation for lute or stringed instrument, 1570s, from French tablature (1550s), from Italian tavolatura (also Medieval Latin tabulatura), from Late Latin tabulare, from Latin tabula "table, list, schedule" (see table (n.)). "It differed from the more general staff-notation in that it aimed to express not so much the pitch of the notes intended as the mechanical process by which on the particular instrument those tones were to be produced" [Century Dictionary].