General Guidelines

(updated on July 1st 2022)

(Differences from WWC2020 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. Entries with only classical or popular performance are NOT accepted.
  • 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, points will be deducted if you perform a classical song, but the tune is also considered popular.
  • Your performances in Classical & Popular are consecutive, in both Second and Final Round . So, there’s no time to change your clothes.
  • You cannot perform a 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 Round, no First/Second Round.
  • 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 set up your own instrument/equipment on the stage.
  • No very loud instruments, such as drums, nor instruments/equipment requiring a lengthy setup time.
  • There is no direct box [DI]. Please bring your own portable amplifier for pickup by microphone if you need one for your electronic instruments, etc.

Hikifuki (Self-accompanied) Category

  • The solo performance of whistling and using instrument(s) at the same time is called Hikifuki.
  • Rank is calculated from the total of Classical & Popular points. Entries with only classical or popular performances are NOT accepted.
  • The accompaniment for classical can be adapted to the instrument and be different from the original score.
  • The piece time limit is the same as Recorded accompaniment Category.
  • No recorded accompaniment.
  • Not allowed in this category: any kind of “automatic” instrument, such as windup/hand-operated music-box or electronic instrument which has automatic function. Manual instruments are allowed – such as piano, ukulele, guitar or auto-harp.
  • Point will be deducted if whistling and instrument(s) aren’t performed together for the majority of the performance.
  • You may use more than one instrument in the same performance.
  • Assistants are allowed on stage to help turn pages (Page-turner) only, and must be arranged by the performer.
  • You cannot perform a 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.
  • Performers may use players who are also performing with other participants and/or non-participants.
  • Medley is accepted in this category.
  • Recorded audition for Allied Arts category:
  • For Allied Arts category contestants we will choose from successful candidates of Recorded accompaniment or Hikifuki category in principle. Except in the following cases:

    • You are entered only in the Allied Arts category.
    • When you submitted the entry form, you checked “I wish to participate only for Allied Arts category even if I fail the audition for Recorded accompaniment and Hikifuki category.”


  • Only the Recorded Accompaniment category has age divisions, listed below:
    • Child (Under 13)
    • Teenage (13 to 17)
    • 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 (October 9th 2022).

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 First, Second, and Final Round.
  • Only vocal methods of whistling are allowed. The use of hands and fingers is allowed only in the Allied Arts category.
  • Please have an e-mail address contact.
  • Submit fees for the Recorded audition, First, Second, and Final Round via PayPal or Bank deposit (domestic only in Japan).

Judging Guidelines

  • 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 should be a taped audition. Please submit your information (such as your name and e-mail) and the links to the sound files of your recorded whistling sample. Please use an 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, you should include both Classical AND Popular movie files.
  • If you enter the Allied Arts category, please provide a movie file.
  • The Recorded audition will be judged by blind listening. (Abolished)
  • Only a LIVE and unedited performance sound or movie file is accepted. (except Recorded accompaniment – Karaoke – for Allied arts and Recorded accompaniment category)
  • It is necessary to pass the Recorded audition to proceed to the First, or Second Round.
  • “Nationality Seed” will be applied only for the Recorded audition of Adult division in Recorded Accompaniment category. General selection process is based on scoring order. But this rule, before the general selection process, we choose each successful candidate from the top scoring competitor for each nationality. For example, if we have 3 Japanese participants for the Recorded audition, we choose one top-scorer from Japanese participants. If there are too many nationalities in the Recorded audition participants, we can reject low scored participant(s) from the Nationality Seed group. (Abolished)
  • Recorded audition fee is 3,000 yen (under 18 years old as of October 9th 2022, 1,500 yen).
  • Please refer to the “Recorded audition Guidelines” page on this site for details. (to be posted later)

First, Second, and Final Round

  • ONLY THE ADULT DIVISION IN RECORDED ACCOMPANIMENT CATEGORY HAS FIRST, SECOND, AND FINAL ROUND. (Please refer to ‘”New round system” for the Recorded Accompaniment category Adult division’) All other categories and divisions only have a Final Round – for example, Child, Teen and Senior divisions of Recorded accompaniment, and the Hikifuki and Allied Arts categories.
  • First, Second, and Final Round will be based on an open audition at the Concert Hall.
  • Participant fee:
    • Recorded Accompaniment category: Adult (Seed) 14,000 yen, Senior 10,000 yen, Child or Teenage 5,000 yen (no additional fee if you also participate in Hikifuki and/or Allied Arts category)
    • Only Hikifuki or only Allied Arts category: 10,000 yen (under 18 years old as of October 9th 2022, 5,000 yen)
    • Only Hikifuki and Allied Arts category: 14,000 yen (under 18 years old as of October 9th 2022, 5,000 yen; 65 or older, 10,000 yen)
    • Only First Round of Recorded Accompaniment category Adult: 10,000 yen (If you are granted movement to the Second Round, you should pay an additional 4,000 yen.
    • First Round of Recorded Accompaniment category Adult and Hikifuki and/or Allied Arts category: 14,000 yen
    • Fee Matrix:
  • The sponsor of this event ​does not p​rovide any expenses for travel.
  • No on-stage rehearsal of your performance is possible.
  • Please refer to the “First, Second, and Final Round Guideline” page on this site for details.

“New round system” for the Recorded Accompaniment category Adult division

  • The “Recorded Accompaniment category Adult division” will have three rounds: First, Second, and Final Round.
  • Those who ranked highly in the Recorded Audition will perform from the Second Round.
  • Those who ranked in the middle of the Recorded Audition will perform in the First Round. Those who rank highly in the First Round will move to the Second Round.
  • First Round contestants have to perform one song (Classical OR Popular). (2 – 5 minutes)
  • Contestants may choose to use the same or different song from their Recorded Audition in the First, Second, or Final Round. However, the song used in the Second Round cannot be used in the Final Round.

Piece Selection

  • For Recorded audition and First, Second, Round (and also Recorded audition and Final Round), the same or different songs may be used.
  • You may not use the same piece for Second Round and Final Round.
  • So, for the Adult division of the Recorded Accompaniment Category, you should prepare two pieces for Classical, two for Popular – a total of 4 pieces.
  • For Child, Teen and Senior division of Recorded Accompaniment and Hikifuki Category, you should prepare one piece for Classical, one for Popular – a total of 2 pieces.
  • For the Allied Arts Category, you should prepare one piece.
  • You don’t need to have an extra piece in the event of 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)
  • First Round for Recorded Accompaniment Category Adult Division: Classical OR Popular), 2 – 5 minutes.
  • Second and Final Round for Recorded Accompaniment Category Adult Division and Hikifuki Category: The combined length of Classical & Popular pieces 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 around 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 around half of the piece (points deducted), except for the Allied Arts Category.


  • The Adult division of the Recorded Accompaniment Category has a First Place (Champion) to 5th place.
  • Other categories and divisions have a First Place (Champion), as well as a Second and Third prizes.
  • Judges award a special prize to one contestant from all categories of Second and Final Round; this is optional and not related to the score points.
  • Prizewinners receive a trophy or plaque.

Other Information

  • You don’t have to submit recorded accompaniment (Karaoke music file) in advance. For the Recorded accompaniment category and when using recorded accompaniment in the Allied Arts category, contestants should bring their recorded accompaniment CDs for the First, Second and Final Round.
  • “Whistling Symposium” and “Opening Concert” has not been decided yet.
  • We will announce the results after each audition/selection. Please note: We cannot answer inquiries about the results.
  • Recorded audition, First, Second, and Final Rounds will be calculated independently from each other.
  • The sponsor has the right to use all recordings and videos taken during the event. Permission may be needed for copyright reasons.