No other composer before Josquin Desprez (c. 1450-1521) was appreciated in such a broad way, especially beyond elitist musician circles. It is not for nothing that his influential 16th-century afterlife has been compared to the afterlife of Beethoven in the 19th century. The present study investigates the German speaking areas where the reception of Josquin was enormously rich. The sources led to an outline by 'reception paradigms'. These paradigms - canonisation, heroisation, literarisation and historicisation - reveal the rootage of Josquin's reception in 16th century cultural history and point especially to the importance of humanistic circles for the estimation of musical authorship and polyphonic art music. Accordingly, a wide field of sources and protagonists was considered, ranging from musical manuscripts to humanistic panegyrics, from composers and music theorists to theologians, rhetoricians and philosophers - among them the church reformer Philipp Melanchthon, who valued Josquin at eye level with Homer, Caesar, and Ovid, thus with the greatest names of intellectual and cultural history at that time.