A New Beginning!

Welcome to Psalms!

No book has the power to encourage, motivate, challenge or uplift as does Psalms. As I read and study passages from Psalms each day, golden nuggets of truth and inspiration bless me deeply. The purpose of this blog is to have a means of sharing those insights with you...so you too can be blessed...and encouraged, motivated, challenged and lifted high!

So dive in...and be blessed!

Music Terms in Psalms

In Psalms there are several words that are unique...most are not used anywhere else in the Bible.  Several of these words have obscure meanings - scholars still are not sure of some definitions.  Below I have listed these terms along with their meaning (if known), or possible meanings (if unsure).1,2

If you find a word in Psalms that you are unclear of its meaning, and it does not appear in this list; then please email the word to me (email available on my profile).  I will look it up and reply to you with its meaning or possible meanings, and add it to this list.

Alamoth - meaning is unsure.  Possibly means: (1) a high pitch; (2) a tune for soprano voices; (3) for a women's choir/ensemble.  Hebrew root of the word means: (1) young women; (2) virgins.

Asaph - a Gershonite Levite choir leader in the time of David and Soloman - see 1 Chronicles 15:16-19; 16:1-7; 2 Chronicles 5:6,12.  Called a seer in 2 Chronicles 29:30.  His sons were made musicians - see 1 Chronicles 25:1-9.

Gittith - meaning is unsure.  Possibly means: (1) a particular instrument; (2) a musical term; (3) a tune from Gath; (4) a song for the grape harvest.

Higgaion - meaning is unsure.  Possibly means: (1) a device denoting a pause in an instrumental interlude; (2) a murmuring harp tone; (3) a deep sound or tone.

Mahalath - meaning is unsure.  Possibly means: (1) a song tune; (2) a musical instrument; (3) a dance.  May be related to Hebrew word meaning: sickness.  Name of one of Esau's wives in Genesis 28:9 (a daughter of Ishmael); and one of Rehoboam's wives in 2 Chronicles 11:18 (King David's granddaughter).

Maskil - (1) to be prudent; (2) to have insight; (3) a contemplative, instructive or wisdom psalm.

Miktam - meaning is unsure.  Possibly means: a plaintive style.

Muth-labben - musical term meaning: authority.

Selah - meaning is unsure (also used in Habakkuk 3:3,9,13).  Possibly means: (1) a musical notation; (2) pause, or a moment for silence; (3) a signal to fall prostrate in worship; (4) a word those worshipping speak; or (5) forever/eternally true. Related word, "Sela," used in 2 Kings 14:7 to refer to a place in Edom.

Sheminith - musical term meaning: instruments, or directions to use the instrument of eight strings.  Also appears in 1 Chronicles 15:21.

Shiggaion - meaning is unsure.  Possibly means: (1) a passionate song with rapid changes of rhythm; (2) a dirge; (3) irregular.

Song of Ascents - meaning is unsure.  Possibly means: (1) songs pilgrims sang as they traveled the roads going up to worship in Jerusalem; (2) song rising in tone or intensity.  Psalms 120-134.

Sons of Asaph - see Asaph above.

1 HSCB Bullet Notes. Holman Christian Standard Bible  Holman Bible Publishers: Nashville, 2004. pgs. 1057-1062.
2 Biblical Cyclopedic Index. The Open Bible: Expanded Edition  Thomas Nelson Publishers: Nashville, 1985. pgs.29-326.