Samuel Akpabot: The Odyssey of a Nigerian Composer-Ethnomusicologist
Publication date: October 2008
Digital Book format: PDF (DRM-Free)
Samuel Akpabot’s life tells a unique story of an incredible and fascinating journey encompassing over six decades. The life, music, and scholarly effervescence of Samuel Akpabot are indeed an epitome of intercultural musicology. The odyssey reveals a motion through a tri-cultural enclave in Africa, England, and the United States. The fundamental seed sown into the young Akpabot at King’s College and the Cathedral Church of Christ Choir, Lagos, ultimately blossomed into full Professorship at the University of Uyo and international stardom. His creative experience attests to the squirm that the first and second generation of Nigerian composers had to contend with to create indigenous African art music. Akpabot was a “Jack of all trade, and Master of ALL.” He was a classical and dance band pianist, organist, xylophonist, vibraphonist, trumpeter, drummer, composer, ethnomusicologist, African musicologist, intercultural musicologist, poet, Professor of music, conductor, broadcaster, and sports writer. Akpabot was a genius in all these areas and he dazzled the Nigerian and American students, audiences, congregations, sports enthusiasts, and colleagues, with his God given talents. A feisty scholar, his contribution to African musicology is indeed extensive and priceless. He covered every pertinent area in the study of African music—traditional music, popular dance music, church music, modern art music, and poetry. He exerted himself and was well-respected as an authority on African musicology. The book is divided into three main parts with an epilogue: (i) the biography of Samuel Akpabot—chapter 2; (ii) his compositions—chapters 3 to 5; and (iii) his contributions to knowledge—chapters 6 to 11. Since Akpabot’s books are presently out-of-print, chapters 6 to 9 and 11 present a brief summary of each book in order for everyone to have access to his contribution to African musicology and Nigerian football. Chapter 10 is a succinct summation of nine of his published articles on African music. Composers, performers, African musicologists, ethnomusicologists, intercultural musicologists, and church musicians, would be enthralled by this ethnography on tri-cultural musicality.