The title Sonatae tam aris quam aulis servientes suggests that these works can be used for both sacred and secular purposes. They represent the first of several collections of pieces for polyphonic instrumental ensembles (published in 1676, 1680 and 1682) in which Biber demonstrated his mastery in handling the most important forms of instrumental music of his time. In the turmoil of the Second World War, nearly all the original partbooks of the 1676 collection were lost. Currently, only the original prints of the pars secunda (second violin), pars terza (first viola) and pars sexta (third/fourth viola) are known to have survived: they are housed in the Archepiscopal Library Krom??íž. Fortunately, the editors of Denkmäler der Tonkunst in Österreich had already produced a score around 1900, following scholarly criteria, from the then fully preserved partbooks. Comparisons to the surviving original parts demonstrate the accuracy of that edition.