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OT:late reply to "Editing in film"

i thought this was an interesting thread, my very late reply, since my original degree was communication studies w/ an emphasis in film studies:

when i was in college back in 80's w/ mtv video boom going on, one of my profs said in a class that the power in film is the ability to edit

i think the example given was how mtv was changing film/tv, moving away from long, one shot scenes (used in more classic cinema and usually tv-due to heavy bulky cameras) to a quicker, fast editing style. and this gave the films a more herky/jerky look, made things look edgier, could give sense of action, etc. and obviously since the 80's numerous directors took this even farther than we see today.

another correlation, was during my art studies, in one of my painting classes, another prof said that the power in painting is the ability to mix paint.
how color choices can influence mood, emotion etc, and then we went on to study hofmann's push-pull theories (warm & cool colors), albers and his color theories (the yale school), and of course all the artists who used color in an emotional context for their content (the list goes on).

goes to show guess i did learn something in all my yrs of college study, i don't know how the film editing correlation works as applied to music, since i don't really have any formal background in music.
but i do remember some interview w/ some hip-hop artist a few yrs ago talking about  samplers when they came in use in the 80's, talking about how groups like public enemy could sample drum rhythms etc, and then w/ it you would have some random "concrete sound/noise" (a siren for example) and how that would be part of the musical equation, and became musical and people accepted it w/in that musical context (i'm badly paraphrasing)

i guess since i don't have the music background, i would be curious what folks were taught was the element that you manipulate that gave music it's power?