Josquin des Prez, often referred to simply as Josquin, was a French composer of the Renaissance. He was the most famous European composer between Guillaume Dufay and Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, and is usually considered to be the central figure of the Franco-Flemish School. Josquin is widely considered the first master of the high Renaissance style of polyphonic vocal music that was emerging during his lifetime.
During the 16th century, Josquin acquired the reputation of the greatest composer of the age, his mastery of technique and expression universally imitated and admired. Writers as diverse as Baldassare Castiglione and Martin Luther wrote about his reputation and fame, with Luther declaring that "he is the master of the notes. They must do as he wills; as for the other composers, they have to do as the notes will." Theorists such as Heinrich Glarean and Gioseffo Zarlino held his style as that best representing perfection. Many anonymous compositions were attributed to him by copyists, probably to increase their sales.