Based on primary sources, many of which have never been published or examined in detail, this book examines the music of the late seventeenth-century composers, Biber, Schmeltzer and Muffat, and the compositions preserved in the extensive Moravian archives in Kromeriz. These works have never before been fully examined in the cultural and conceptual contexts of their time. Charles E. Brewer sets these composers and their music within a framework that first examines the basic Baroque concepts of instrumental style, and then provides a context for the specific works. The dances of Schmeltzer, for example, functioned both as incidental music in Viennese operas and as music for elaborate court pantomimes and balls. These same cultural practices also account for some of Biber's most programmatic music, which accompanied similar entertainments in Kromeriz and Salzburg. The many sonatas by these composers have also been misunderstood by not being placed in a context where it was normal to be entertained in church and edified in court. Many of the works discussed here remain unpublished but have, in recent years, been recorded. This book enhances our understanding and appreciation of these recordings by providing an analysis of the context in which the works were first performed.