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Any one of a series of tones which usually accompany the prime tone (fundamental) produced by a string, an organ-pipe, the human voice, etc. The fundamental is the string tone produced by the vibration of the whole string, or the entire column of air in the pipe; the partial tones are produced by the vibration of fractional parts of that string or air-column. Harmonic tones such as these are also obtained, on any stringed instrument which is stopped (guitar, violin, zither), by lightly touching a nodal point of a string.

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