(Alʹa·moth) [Heb., ʽala·mohthʹ].
Evidently a term of musical execution, its apparent meaning being “the voice of young women” or “in the style of maiden[s],” suggesting the higher tones of the musical scale. In 1 Chronicles 15:20, stringed instruments are described as being “tuned to Alamoth,” the term being transliterated. However, in the superscription to Psalm 46 ʽala·mohthʹ is translated “Maidens.”
At 1 Chronicles 15:21, the verse following the above citation another musical expression is transliterated, namely, shemi·nithʹ, referring to “harps tuned to Sheminith.” In the superscriptions of Psalms 6 and 12 (NW) this word is translated “lower octave.” While the two terms Alamoth and Sheminith are not necessarily opposites in meaning, some scholars believe they do stand in contrast to each other. The contents of the respective Psalms seem to indicate this also: Both Psalms (6 and 12), containing shemi·nithʹ in their superscriptions, are somewhat plaintive and would accordingly be accompanied in a more somber, lower range; whereas Psalm 46, containing ʽala·mohthʹ in its superscription, is joyous and reasonably would have accompaniment or be sung in a higher register.—See HARP; MUSIC.