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Himene tarava is a style of traditional Tahitian music, sung a cappella in a highly rhythmic style by polyphonic choirs. The word tarava means to be spread out, to be gathered. This form of singing is common in French Polynesia and the Cook Islands, and is distinguished by a unique drop in pitch at the end of the phrases, which is a characteristic formed by several different voices; it is also accompanied by steady grunting of staccato, nonsensical syllables by the men.
Tahiti came to the forefront of the world music scene in 1992, with the release of The Tahitian Choir's recordings of himene tarava, recorded by French musicologist Pascal Nabet-Meyer (recorded without the use of guttural utterances).
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