Composers at Work discusses a problem that has fascinated scholars for a long time: how did Renaissance composers write their complex vocal polyphony? Twentieth-century scholars are so accustomed to scoring music, carefully lining up the vertical simultaneities, and carefully aligning the bar lines in order to study and perform music, that the idea that a composer could create elaborate polyphony, even in eight parts, without the aid of a score, seems incomprehensible. How then did sixteenth-century composers write their music, and what evidence exists to document this compositional process? Using sketches and other documentary evidence, long a matter of intense study in later centuries, Professor Owens' study is the first full-length investigation of the topic in Renaissance music. It sets out the indispensable background to an inquiry and into the fundamental processes of Renaissance composition.