8
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My song is a chorus of ringing instruments.
People with very dark titles employ my services.

The tough and rigid are brought before me.
I see them weakened, deformed, drowned,
Beaten and shattered against each other
Until they can serve more practical means.

One of the elements gives me power,
We begin the same way.
My heart is a tragic lover,
And I close with a lonely reply.

Alongside another, I cause a memory to fade.
With two others, I am a false imitation,
And I could allow a fraud to steal another's hand.
Yet between honest folk, I enhance their trust.

What is my name?

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5
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I believe the answer is

FORGE

although I think my explanation for the third paragraph is missing something.

My song is a chorus of ringing instruments.
People with very dark titles employ my services.

This makes me think of smithys and blacksmiths. The song being the clangs of hammers and such.

The tough and rigid are brought before me.
I see them weakened, deformed, drowned,
Beaten and shattered against each other
Until they can serve more practical means.

Seems to be referencing the phrase 'beat their swords to plowshares' The swords are brought in and heated, until the metal grows soft, then they are bent and quenched, and smashed with hammers until they become other tools.
OP comment: Not what I had in mind, I was describing the smelting process of raw ore to ingots. But this interpretation is just as good!

One of the elements gives me power,
We begin the same way.
My heart is a tragic lover,
And I close with a lonely reply.

Of the objects within a smithy, I think this fits FURNACE best, F(ire), the power-granting element. URN containing a tragic lover, and ACE an interjection that can be used like 'Great!' which is also a solitary pip on a playing card.
OP comment: There's only one name; can't have both FORGE and FURNACE. As Xenocacia commented, this paragraph describes the word FORGE: Fire (a classical element) and Forge begin with F. "Heart" means the middle letter, the tragic Romeo, or R. "Close" means the last letter, a lonely reply Echo, or E. So the word is F_R_E.

Alongside another, I cause a memory to fade.
With two others, I am a false imitation,

This seems more like FORGE though, which could be a synonym of FURNACE, forming FORGE(T) and FORGE(RY)...

And I could allow a fraud to steal another's hand.
Yet between honest folk, I enhance their trust.

Forge a signature (hand) or Forge a bond (of friendship)

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  • $\begingroup$ I was thinking of this as well, except for the line 'tough and rigid are brought to me', and are 'weakened' if it were a forge then they would be strengthened. $\endgroup$ – Melkor Jan 20 '17 at 16:41
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    $\begingroup$ @Melkor 'weakened, deformed, drowned' would be the process of melting bending and quenching at high temperatures $\endgroup$ – Sconibulus Jan 20 '17 at 16:43
  • $\begingroup$ Every part of the puzzle is a clue that provides some meaning. The lines are intentionally separated, so grouping 4 or more lines together means missing out on multiple clues. $\endgroup$ – MikeQ Jan 20 '17 at 19:23
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    $\begingroup$ I would guess that "begin the same way" refers to the letter F which is common to both the answer and its element, Fire. "Heart is a tragic lover" refers to R, for Romeo, and "close with a lonely reply" is E for echo. $\endgroup$ – Xenocacia Jan 30 '17 at 6:21
  • $\begingroup$ With Xenocacia's comment, I'm going to consider this answer as correct, even if some of the clue interpretations are off. $\endgroup$ – MikeQ Jan 31 '17 at 13:43
1
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Are you:

Mouth

My song is a chorus of ringing instruments.

Song of vibrating vocal cords

People with very dark titles employ my services.

"Word of Mouth" for those with questionable business.

The tough and rigid are brought before me.
I see them weakened, deformed, drowned,

Tough and rigid food is broken down and then drowned in saliva.

Beaten and shattered against each other
Until they can serve more practical means.

Food crunched together and broken down into energy.

One of the elements gives me power,

Without sense of hearing, your words mean nothing.

We begin the same way.

Not sure here.

My heart is a tragic lover,

Tongue is often involved in love.

And I close with a lonely reply.

Most fair wells will end with a closed mouth.

Alongside another, I cause a memory to fade.

Alongside drinking, memories can fade.

With two others, I am a false imitation,

Two lips- lip service only.

And I could allow a fraud to steal another's hand.

Smooth talkers getting their way.

Yet between honest folk, I enhance their trust.

Communicating to build trust.

What is my name?

You're the mouth!

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  • $\begingroup$ A few issues. For one, the mouth's role is breaking down food into small bits, whereas the stomach and intestines are primarily responsibe for conversion into energy. But this is a very creative perspective! $\endgroup$ – MikeQ Jan 30 '17 at 14:30
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Are you

Recycling

My song is a chorus of ringing instruments.

Machinery working

People with very dark titles employ my services.

Not sure - will amend in a later edit

The tough and rigid are brought before me.

Tough metals and plastics.

I see them weakened, deformed, drowned,
Beaten and shattered against each other

Break them apart

Until they can serve more practical means.

Make new objects

One of the elements gives me power,

Is this Carbon? Plastics are made from it.

We begin the same way.

Materials begin as plastic, and change to different forms.

My heart is a tragic lover,
And I close with a lonely reply.

This could possibly refer to the destruction of the earth, that recycling can help prevent.

Alongside another, I cause a memory to fade.

Forgetting old objects that have been thrown away?

With two others, I am a false imitation,

Some people think recycled products are inferior?

And I could allow a fraud to steal another's hand.

Recycling Fraud

Yet between honest folk, I enhance their trust.

Recycling can encourage communities to work together to help the enviroment?

There are quite a few unknowns, and this seems pretty unlikely, but I will try to fill in the blanks!

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  • $\begingroup$ Nope. Every part of the puzzle is a clue that means something. The interpretations should be valid and relevant: plastic isn't just made of carbon, not all recyclable materials are plastic, etc. $\endgroup$ – MikeQ Jan 20 '17 at 19:18
  • $\begingroup$ @MikeQ it is valid. Carbon is an element and it does give us power to recycle. Just because there are other things that do this, it doesn't make it invalid. $\endgroup$ – Melkor Jan 20 '17 at 19:45
  • $\begingroup$ True, "valid" wasn't the right word. A better term would be "certain" or "specific", because puzzles should not be too open-ended. $\endgroup$ – MikeQ Jan 20 '17 at 19:59

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