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Here are the rules we gave to the pundits voting on this year's list.

Our panel is made up of newspaper and magazine editors and critics, producers and presenters from music radio and televison, website editors and bloggers. A full list of this year's tastemakers is available on The Pundits page.

The panel have chosen their favourite three new acts, in order of preference. The criteria given to participants when choosing artists were:

They should be the best, most exciting acts, in the personal opinion of the voter. Choices are based on quality, not on hype or size of record deal.

The artists can be performers of any description - bands, singers, MCs etc.

They must not have had a UK top 20 single or album by 11 November 2012.

They can be from any musical genre and any country.

They must not already be famous i.e. generally known by the UK public, (e.g. member of a hit band going solo, or soap star). They must not have got through to the quarter, semi or final rounds of UK reality shows such as X Factor in the last 3 years (i.e. 2010 onwards).

They must not have featured in the BBC Sound of list previously (See an alphabetical list of previous nominees here)

"New" means new to the general public. They may have been around for a while if you believe they are ready to step up to the next level of quality & recognition.

Pundits could not nominate any act or individual if they had either a close personal (immediate family & friends) or financial/commercial relationship with them e.g. PR, label, managing, promoting.

Pundits could not publicise the fact that they had been invited as a tastemaker in order to promote any commercial venture.

The BBC reserves the right to exclude an act if, in our sole discretion, we believe there has been a deliberate attempt to manipulate the result.