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tuning fork

tuning fork, steel instrument in the shape of a U with a short handle. When struck it produces an almost pure tone, retaining its pitch over a long period of time; thus it is a valuable aid in tuning musical instruments. It was invented in 1711 by John Shore, who jokingly called it a pitchfork.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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