General Guidelines

(Differences from WWC2016 in Blue)


  • The competition has three categories: Recorded accompaniment, Allied Arts and Hikifuki (Self-accompanied).
  • You can choose to enter 1, 2 or all categories.

Recorded Accompaniment Category

  • Only this category has age divisions. Please refer to the following “Participant Divisions” article for details.
  • Only solo whistling performance with recorded accompaniment – no instrumental accompaniment.
  • Rank is calculated from total of Classical & Popular points.
  • In this event, Classical means primarily European-style Classical music (such as J.S.Bach, Beethoven, Schubert…).
  • In keeping with the Classical style, pieces may be adapted to feature whistling as an instrument – for example, an arrangement may omit movement(s), omit repeats, change a range (key), or cut measures naturally.
  • Popular means any music except Classical.
  • The judges will determine if your piece is considered Classical or Popular. It is not determined by composer nor song names. For instance,if you perform a classical song, but the tune is also considered popular, points will be deducted.
  • Your performances in Classical & Popular are consecutive, in both Primary Selection and Final Competition. So, there’s no time to change your clothes.
  • You cannot perform medley in this category.

Hikifuki (Self-accompanied) and Allied Arts Category

  • The performance must emphasize your whistling – you are judged on the quality of whistling and how it is used.
  • These categories have only Recorded audition and Final Competition, no Primary Selection.
  • You may use up to 4 microphones and one wireless lapel microphone.
  • You may use the piano on the stage.
  • You may use power supply (100V, 50Hz), chairs, table, or music-stands on the stage.
  • You should setup your own instrument/equipment on the stage.
  • No very loud instruments, such as drums, nor instruments/equipment requiring a lengthy setup time.
  • No direct box [DI]. Please bring your own portable amplifier for pickup by microphone if you need for your electronic instruments, etc.

Hikifuki (Self-accompanied) Category

  • The style of solo performance of whistling and using instrument(s) at the same time is called Hikifuki.
  • Rank is calculated from total of Classical & Popular points.
  • The accompaniment for classical can be adapted to the instrument and be different from the original score.
  • The pieces length limit is the same as Recorded accompaniment Category.
  • Entry with only classical or popular perform are also accepted at this WWC. The overall ranking will be calculated from the total points from classical and popular. In that case, it will be significantly disadvantageous.
  • No recorded accompaniment.
  • Not allowed in this category: any kind of “automatic” instrument, such as windup music-box or electronic instrument which has automatic function. Manual instruments are allowed – such as piano, ukulele, guitar, auto-harp, or hand-operated music-box.
  • It is not the same time mostly during the performance of whistling and instrument, the point will be deducted.
  • You may use one or more instruments.
  • You are allowed to have an assistant for only Page-turner: (arrange your own).
  • You cannot perform medley in this category.

Allied Arts Category

  • You may perform solo, group, a cappella, or use other instrumental accompaniment.
  • Hikifuki (Self-accompanied) style is not allowed.
  • Only this category allows the use of hands and fingers for whistling.
  • Performer may use players who are also performing with other participants and/or non-participants.
  • Medley is accepted in this category.


  • Only the Recorded Accompaniment category has age divisions, listed below:
    • Junior (under 18)
    • Senior (65 and older)
    • Adult (18 and older)
  • Adult entrants must be 18 or older.
  • If you are 65 or older, you can choose to enter as Adult or Senior.
  • These divisions are based on your age on the last day of this event (May 5th 2018).

Entry Guidelines

  • The Recorded audition is open to anyone professional or amateur, regardless of nationality, gender, age. Submit the Recorded audition only if you can attend the Primary selection and Final competition.
  • Only vocal methods of whistling are allowed. The use of hands and fingers, classed as instrumental, can be in Allied Arts only.
  • Please have an e-mail address as a contact.
  • We will announce the results after each audition/selection. Please note: We cannot answer inquiries about the results.
  • Submit fees for the Recorded audition, Primary selection and Final competition via PayPal or Bank deposit (domestic only in Japan).

Judging Guidelines (180312)

  • Deduct “Minus checkpoints” according to its degree, add “Plus checkpoints” according to its degree, and score with the total.
  • Please note that “Minus checkpoints (OVERALL)” is particularly greatly reduced.
  • Please refer to the “Judging Guidelines” page on this site for details.

Recorded audition

  • Recorded audition will be a taped audition. Please submit your information (such as your name and e-mail) and the links of sound files of your recorded whistling sample. Use internet storage service (such as Dropbox or Youtube) to upload your sound files.
  • Your sound file for the Recorded audition should include Classical AND Popular songs.
  • If you enter the Hikifuki category, provide one movie file include Classical OR Popular song.
  • If you enter the Allied Arts category, provide a movie file.
  • The Recorded audition will be judged by blind listening.
  • It is necessary to pass the Recorded audition to proceed to the Primary selection and Final competition.
  • “Nationality Seed” will be applied only for the Recorded audition of Adult division in Recorded Accompaniment category. General selection process is based on scored order. But this rule, before the general selection process, we choose each successful candidate from top scored competitor for each nationality. For example, if we have 3 Japanese participants for the Recorded audition, we choose one top-scored from Japanese participants. If there are too many nationalities in the Recorded audition participants, we can reject low scored participant(s) from Nationality Seed group. (170919)
  • Recorded audition fee is 3,000 yen (under 18 years old as of May 5th 2018, 2,000 yen).
  • Please refer to the “Recorded audition Guidelines” page on this site for details.

Primary Selection and Final Competition

  • ONLY THE ADULT DIVISION IN RECORDED ACCOMPANIMENT CATEGORY HAS PRIMARY SECTION AND FINAL COMPETITION. All Other category and division have only Final Competition – for example, Junior and Senior division of Recorded accompaniment, and Hikifuki and Allied Arts categories.
  • Primary Selection and Final Competition will be based on an open audition at the Concert Hall.
  • Participant fee:
    • Recorded Accompaniment category: Adult 14,000 yen, Senior 12,000 yen, Junior 8,000 yen (no additional fee if you also participate in Hikifuki and/or Allied Arts category)
    • Only Hikifuki and/or Allied Arts category: 12,000 yen (under 18 years old as of May 5th 2018, 8,000 yen)
  • The sponsor of this event ​does not p​rovide any expenses for travel.
  • No on-stage rehearsal of your performance is possible. There is a shared rehearsal room for practice.
  • Please refer to the “Primary Selection and Final Competition Guideline” page on this site for details. (to be posted later)

Piece Selection

  • For Recorded audition and Primary selection (and also Recorded audition and Final competition), the same or different songs may be used.
  • You may not use the same piece for Primary Selection and Final competition.
  • So, for Adult division of Recorded Accompaniment Category, you should prepare two pieces for Classical, two for Popular – a total of 4 pieces.
  • For Junior and Senior division of Recorded Accompaniment Category, you should prepare one piece for Classical, one for Popular – a total of 2 pieces.
  • For Allied Arts and Hikifuki Category, you should prepare one piece.
  • You don’t need to have an extra piece for tie-breaking; the judges will decide by vote.
  • The piece that you performed in the past WWC can NOT be selected in the same category. (points deducted) (Except Recorded audition)

Length of Songs

  • Recorded audition for Recorded Accompaniment and Hikifuki Category – Classical, 2 – 5 minutes; Popular 2 – 4 minutes. (Performance in overtime will be ignored in the audition scoring)
  • Primary selection and Final competition: The combined length of Classical & Popular pieces for Primary and Final may be up to 9 minutes (points deducted for overtime). The minimum length is 2 minutes for each piece. The interval between Classical and Popular is not included in performance time.
  • The time limit for Recorded audition and Final for Allied Arts is 4 minutes.


  • Points are deducted if accompaniment uses the same melody notes along with whistled melody for more than half of the piece.
  • There is no restriction for the kind of instruments used for accompaniment, but do not use whistling or a similar sound (such as midi whistling sound or flute) or vocal for your accompaniment.
  • You can whistle a cappella (no accompaniment), but not for more than half of the piece (points deducted), except for the Allied Arts Category.

Submission of recorded accompaniment (Karaoke music file) in advance

  • Only for Recorded accompaniment category and when using recorded accompaniment in the Allied Arts category, Contestants should submit recorded accompaniment (Karaoke music files) for the Primary selection and the final by one month before the event. (Via storage service)
  • You should bring original recorded accompaniment on Audio-CD or Audio-CD-R at the Primary selection and the final for emergency.
  • In addition, if you strongly want to change the song, it is possible to replace in the morning of the event. (Audio-CD or Audio-CD-R)
  • We can play only Audio-CD or Audio-CD-R for accompaniment – no other recorded format such as Data-CD, tape, MD, DVD, CD-RW nor iPad.


  • Adult division of Recorded Accompaniment Category has a First Place (Champion) to 6th prize.
  • Other categories and divisions have a First Place (Champion), and Second and Third prize.
  • Prizewinners receive a trophy or plaque.
  • Judges award a special prize to one contestant from all categories of Primary selection and Final competition; this is optional and not related to the score points.

Other Information

  • Whistling Symposium is held the first day of the event. (details to be posted later)
  • Opening Concert is on the first evening of the event. (details to be posted later)
  • Recorded audition, Primary selection, and Final competitions will be calculated independently from each other.
  • The sponsor has the right to use all recordings and videos in this event. It will need permission to use recordings and videos.

(170919 updated)