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.)