Relatively little is known about Dominique Phinot’s life, other than that he was executed for "homosexual practices" in 1556, cutting short a productive and impressive composing career. Phinot’s output consists of over a hundred motets, two Masses, and settings of Vesper Psalms and the Magnificat, as well as two books of French chansons and two Italian madrigals.

Phinot's music was widely distributed, and he was highly praised and clearly renowned as a master of imitative polyphonic writing by writers of the time, including Heinrich Finck and Pietro Cerone. Cerone called Phinot "one of the first and best composers of the time" and also said "had there been no Phinot, ... Palestrina's music would not have been possible."