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Not much is known about the life Josquin des Prez, but it is generally agreed that he studied under the earlier Renaissance master Johannes Ockeghem , who was the first great master of the Flemish school of Renaissance composers. There are references to Josquin's having served at several courts in Italy and France, and at the Sistine Chapel in Rome. He died while serving as canon of the collegiate church at Condé. Among his surviving works are more than a dozen masses, a hundred motets, and a good deal of secular music.
The serene, almost otherworldly choral sound of the Flemish school's style can be heard in the Gloria from Josquin's Missa L'homme armé. Flemish composers of the time often based the cantus firmus on a popular melody of the day, composing new music for the other voices in counterpoint to the tune. The simultaneous interweaving of several melodic lines (usually four: soprano, alto, tenor, bass) in a musical composition is known as polyphony. Polyphony of this sytyle was at its most popular during this period and Josquin des Prez was considered its master.

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