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Samuel Ekpe Akpabot was born in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria on October 3, 1932. He went to Lagos at age 11 to attend King’s College. He received his basic musical training there, and sang in the choir for many years. As a young man, he played in bands. Akpabot studied organ and trumpet at the Royal College of Music in London, beginning in 1954. In 1959 he returned to Nigeria to work for the Nigerian Broadcasting Corp. He left in 1962 to join the music faculty of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Akpabot composed four works between 1962 and 1967. He combined African instruments with Western forms, and wrote almost exclusively for orchestra. Next, he went to the United States, where he earned a Master’s Degree and a Ph.D. in Musicology. Akpabot subsequently served as a Visiting Scholar at Michigan State University. He returned to Nigeria in the 1990s to teach music at the University of Uyo. By this time he had become an author on the subject of ethnomusicology. He died in 2000.