History of the Tuning Fork Mark

In 1898, one year after the establishment of Nippon Gakki Co., Ltd., forerunner to today's Yamaha Corporation, the company decided to use a tuning fork as its corporate mark, with "a design featuring a hoo (Chinese phoenix) holding a tuning fork in its mouth" as the trademark. Since then, after undergoing a variety of changes that paralleled the growth of the company, the tuning fork mark was finally unified in 1967.

Changes in the tuning fork mark

1898

This is the design with a hoo (Chinese phoenix) holding a tuning fork in its mouth, which was established as the trademark in 1898, one year after Nippon Gakki Co., Ltd. was established.
The mark was known for being used on top quality organs, which illustrates how the Founder always aimed to create world-class products.
1927

A trademark application was submitted for this tuning fork and Yamaha Veneer mark.
1934

A design widely used in newspaper advertising and catalogs.
1937

A trademark application was submitted for this tuning fork used on organs.

A trademark application was submitted for this tuning fork used on pianos.

A trademark application for tuning forks alone.
1956

A trademark application was submitted to be used on musical instruments.
1959

A trademark application was submitted to be used on musical instruments.
1998

The current standard and special versions of the tuning fork marks were established.

FAQ about the tuning fork mark

What is a tuning fork?

A tuning fork is a tool for tuning musical instruments. It was invented by a trumpet player named John Shore (1662-1751). The tuning fork is composed of a handle attached to the center of a U-shaped steel rod. By striking the rod, sound is created, and the frequency of the resulting vibrations per second is used as a standard for tuning a musical instrument.

What is the meaning of the tuning fork mark?

The three tuning forks of the Yamaha logo mark represent the cooperative relationship that links the three pillars of our business -- technology, production, and sales. They also evoke the robust vitality that has forged our reputation for sound and music the world over, a territory signified by the enclosing circle. The mark also symbolizes the three essential musical elements: melody, harmony, and rhythm.

What is a hoo?

The hoo, a Chinese phoenix, is a mythical bird of luck, long revered in China alongside the kylin (an imaginary fiery horse), turtles, and dragons. Its appearance is said to herald the birth of an Emperor possessing saintly virtues. The front part resembles a kylin, and the rear that of a deer; the neck, a snake; the tail, a fish; the back, a turtle; the jaw, a swallow; and the beak, a chicken. In addition, the feathers of the hoo are said to feature a five-colored crest. The design featuring a hoo holding a tuning fork in its mouth was established as the trademark in 1898, one year after Nippon Gakki Co., Ltd. was founded. The trademark was used on organs.

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