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Recently I noted that all 3 of my fugue attempts have been in 4 voices, and so I started sketching a 2-voice fugue instead.  While doing that (which will be a separate piece, btw), a crazy idea occurred to me: what if I took the reduction of number of voices to its (il)logical conclusion -- i.e., a 1-voice fugue?

Well, the debate about whether there is even such a thing will probably be endless, so let's skip that part and just look at what I wrote. The single voice states the subject, then sneakily (or not-so-sneakily) answers itself, then plays modulatory episodes to link various different entries (including pretend-strettos by interrupting itself while stating the subject) and finally rounding off with a coda-like phrase.  There are a few places where it suggests multiple voices via the age-old trick of alternating between high and low notes -- and thus keeps up the pretense of trying to harmonize with itself, fugue-style. :-P

Anyway, this entire analysis is probably completely ridiculous, but at least I can say that this is the first time I wrote an unaccompanied melody of this length that can stand on its own.  While the audio was generated by the default piano patch, this piece can conceivably be played by any other solo instrument that has the requisite range -- harpsichord, say, or perhaps it could pass as a viola sonata, or a ditty for steel drums, or something like that.  (I did try rendering the audio with a steel drums patch, and it seems to be very much in character with the ludicrity of a fugue in 1 voice.)

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This would play well as solo viola, but calling it a fugue really is a pointless stretch :P

Haha I know, it's pretty ridiculous to call it a fugue.  But it did come from me trying to write a fugue-like thing in 1 voice.  After I wrote the subject I was actually sorely tempted to write a 2nd voice for it... but resisted the urge. :-P


Not fugue but a fugato part perhaps.

Maybe you would have achieved a conceptual fugue if you had baked in from the outset even more octave/register displacement and written the line in such a way as to exploit it further,

I suppose you can call this whatever you want.

I call some of my stuff "music", which is a stretch , I know.

Best fugue so far. There are no those annoying left hand keys that always destroy melody in pretentious way :D

@Mike: True, I could have done more to make it appear like a bona fide fugue, even though it's straddling the line of just exactly what constitutes a fugue.  But since it was intended to be tongue-in-cheek, I didn't really want to put too much more effort into it than I already have.

@Bob: I know it isn't a "real" fugue (whatever that means), but at least it came out of the (admittedly rather crazy) idea of what one might get if one took to the extreme the idea of minimizing the number of voices in a fugue. At least I didn't end up copying Cage's 4'33" by having a 4-voice fugue where the subject is a series of rests of different durations, and the "counterpoint" consists of "harmonizing" rests of different durations together. :-P

@Nikola: I knew this would be right up your alley. ;-)  In one of your previous pieces you said that you wrote something because of me; now I can say that I wrote this partly because of your thing about music being "too pretentious". :-P

Yes, ridiculous indeed, but not so much so as when you arrive at your stretto section.. what then, eh? Mark your monophonous melody "divisi" and scorners be damned!

@Kristofer: excellent idea.  I'll keep it in mind the next time I write a tutti solo. :-D

Well, I suppose it could be a fugue for solo violin in which the left hand and the right hand played in imitation rather than trying to cooperate.

How about, "One Part Invention".

One part inventions were at one time in vogue. For an explanation please see my CF "my page"

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