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Born c 1620/3, little is known about Johann Heinrich Schmelzer before 1649 when he became an employee at the Imperial Chapel in Vienna. Schmelzer remained in the service of the Imperial Court until 1680 when the Court evacuated to Prague to avoid the plague. Unfortunately, Schmelzer fell victim to the disease.

Schmelzer's greatest contributions were to the development of the Sonata and Suite forms.

His pupils include Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber and Johann Jakob Walther.

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