John Taverner was amongst the most important and most influential English composers of his generation. Only little is known about his life. He was apparently born somewhere in Lincolnshire, and served as organist and master of the choristers in Christ Church, Oxford.
Taverner composed primarily sacred vocal works with florid polyphony, extended climaxes for accomplished soloists and room for innovation. He is mainly known for his masses and Magnificats, amongst others the Western Wynde Mass and the Missa Gloria tibi Trinitas.
The latter mass gave origin to an instrumental genre known as In nomine, named after the mass section of which an instrumental arrangement appeared that gave rise to the composition of similar works. This genre remained popular within English music until the time of Purcell.