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Giovanni Spataro's complaint in 1592 that nowadays everyone was a 'maestro di componere la harmonia' without having studied the rules of counterpoint is clear evidence of the extent to which methods in the teaching of composition which promised to circumvent the traditional studies of counterpoint (or at least tried to offer shortcuts on the way to a first composition) had grown in importance by that date. By contrast with counterpoint exercises, which resulted in compositions of a more theoretical value, these methods aimed directly at the construction of pieces of music for performance. An early collection of such simple formulae was set down by Guilielmus Monachus, and more developed and complex approaches followed, for example in the writings of Pietro Aaron. This paper draws attention to this first surfacing of a phenomenon that finally developed into the dualism of counterpoint and harmony.