Qatar National Music Competition

View competition rules


  • The competition is open to all residents of Qatar including Qatari nationals.
  • Competitors may not enter for more than one age division in the same category. For example a candidate is not allow to enter the ‘piano under 11’ category AND the ‘piano under 14’ category in the same year
  • However, applicants may enter more than one category if the category is different. For example candidates are allowed to enter the ‘piano under 11’ AND the ‘choir’ category AND the ‘concerto competition’ category in the same year. 
  • The application fee must be paid via Q-Tickets  and the applicant needs to write down their ticket number on the application form.
  • Each ticket is only valid for one entry in one category. If the candidate wants to participate in more than one category, he/she needs to purchase a different ticket for every category.
  • Entry fees will not be refunded unless a competition or certain category does not take place.
  • Entries will not be accepted after the designated closing date.
  • All applications will be reviewed by the competition committee and will be treated as confidential.
  • Entries must be in accordance with regulations. Validity of an entry is the responsibility of the entrant.
  • Any objection for noncompliance with any regulation(s) must be sent to info@qnmc.org, within 48 hours of the competition(s) in question.
  • Any breach in the regulations will render competitors liable to disqualification and forfeiture of any relevant prize awarded to them.



  • All cups/trophies remain the property of the competition and should be returned after one year. Medals are the property of the winners.
  • Prizewinners are obliged to perform at a Prizewinners’ Gala Concert if invited by the competition committee.
  • Concerto Competition winners will be required to perform in a concert with the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra on a date to be confirmed, or else forfeit their prize.



  • Applicants must guarantee their availability for all published competition dates.
  • The order in which competitors perform shall be arranged by ballot. Ballot information stating the precise time, date and venue at which competitors must present themselves will be emailed as soon as available to the competitor and/or to his/her teacher.
  • Competitors who do not present themselves to perform at the balloted time will be disqualified. Changes in the officially allotted time may be made only with permission from the QNMC Office. Such a change will be allowed only in cases of genuine difficulty, proof of which must be provided in writing, when requested.


  • The minimum age for competitors is 5 years. Competitors must provide proof of age by sending a copy of their Qatar ID.
  • Ages shall be calculated from the 15th of October 2017.


  • A competitor may not perform the same piece or pieces in two different categories.
  • In all cases of ‘Own Choice’ selection, the title and composer of the piece(s) chosen must be given on the entry form and alteration to the piece(s) chosen may subsequently be made only in writing before the 30th September, 2017
  • Two legible copies of each piece, in staff notation, must be provided for the adjudicators. Failure to supply music will result in disqualification. Competitors’ attention is drawn to the Laws of Copyright which prohibit the unauthorised photocopying of music. QNMC assumes that anybody using photocopies has the permission of the publisher to do so.
  • A song or piece with which a competitor(s) has won a competition may not, in any subsequent year, be performed in that competition by the same competitor(s).


  • The minimum standard for award of first prize must be 85%, and 80% for second prize. If no candidate scores 85% or above only second prize will be awarded.
  • The jury reserves the right not to choose any winners.
  • In the event of a single entry being received the entrant may perform and if, in the opinion of the Adjudicator, the performance has reached the necessary standard of marking, the appropriate prize shall be duly awarded.



  • Accompanists will not be provided. However, QNMC can recommend a list of accompanists who can practice and perform with the participants upon their own arrangements prior to the competition and during. Please get in touch with the office if you need help finding an accompanist.
  • In the Arabic categories, candidates can choose between performing with live accompaniment or with a backing track.
  • In the Western categories all candidates are obliged to perform with live accompaniment if the piece they play requires it.



  • Competitors may compete only once in the same choral/ensemble competition.
  • The minimum number of participants to form an ensemble is 2 performing persons.
  • The minimum number of participants to form a choir is 8 voices.
  • The maximum number of participants to form a choir/ensemble is 60 performing persons.
  • Conductors must not sing with their Choirs/Ensembles. Teachers may conduct but not perform with their Choir/Ensemble.
  • The Conductor’s name responsible for the attendance of the Choir/Ensemble and for the custody of any prize that may be awarded must be stated on the entry form.
  • Sufficient adult supervisors are required to monitor the behaviour of each choir/ensemble.
  • QNMC will provide risers for the choir to stand on, but choirs are allowed during the performance to use the full stage and to incorporate show elements into their performance.
  • Sufficient music stands will be provided for every ensemble but the ensemble itself is responsible for their setup.
  • None of the members of the choirs/ensembles should be older than 18 years EXCEPT the conductor. Qatar ID must be provided for all the performers.


  • In both the Arabic and Western composition category, composers are allowed to write any style of music they choose to such as arabic, pop, jazz, rock and roll, classical etc.
  • All compositions need to be submitted in writing, using staff notation. Sending a recording is not sufficient, every candidate will have to submit their work as sheet music, fully written out.
  • Maximum duration of the composition is 10 minutes.



  • By entering the competition, applicants agree to participate in all appropriate press, marketing and publicity as required.
  • The accompanying instrument for the western vocal competitions shall be piano.
  • QNMC will provide a piano for the candidates and/or accompanists to perform on.
  • QNMC will also provide a harp and some basic percussion instruments (drum set, snare drum and xylophone). Please email info@qnmc.org if you have any questions. Candidates must bring their own instruments unless stated otherwise.
  • Alteration to, or preparation of the piano is not permitted in any competition.
  • In all cases pertaining to competition results the decision of the Adjudicator shall be final within the rules of the competition.
  • Active mobile phones, watch alarms, videos, cameras or tape recorders are prohibited in the Halls during competitions.
  • The decision of the Competition Jury shall be final.


  • The category special needs is for every musician in the community with a physical/or/and mental disability. Please email info@qnmc.org for further information.
  • QNMC will contact each candidate/guardians in this category to make sure we can assist in every way possible, from how to get on and off stage or any other requirements the candidates might have.