I like many different kinds of music, but my favorites are the really extreme ones - black metal, harsh noise, etc. Of course, I'm more careful about which bands/artists I listen to, considering that whole fiasco I've mentioned countless times, but the point is, I like my music loud and in-your-face. "Power" in music like that is typically conveyed by taking facets of the sound to further extremes - louder noise, faster percussion, louder vocals, etc.
I also noticed something during church tonight. It was the first hymn we sang, "The Old Rugged Cross". I found myself being very moved by that song, as I always am, but I noticed something different tonight. I was being moved by this song more than I was with brutal music. There wasn't a single scream, there wasn't a single blastbeat. It was just a piano, and a room of people of presumably varied singing abilities, some probably very off-key. The music wasn't written as a form of self-expression by those performing it. The lyrics to the song most likely weren't written as a result of emotions felt in some frostbitten forest, or in the midst of some depressive fit. Yet the lyrics meant as much to us, like we had written them ourselves, and the music still touched me. The power in the song came from the worship, from the meaning it had for all involved. It wasn't a matter of the sound (though I do really like the sound of that song), it wasn't a matter of trying to be more expressive or emotional than other people, it was the meaning that the act of performing the song had, the love we have for God, and the regret we feel for our actions. (Anybody who says they don't need to be forgiven has never taken an honest look at their own actions, believe me.) It was more than self-expression within some kind of scene, it was more than simply venting our frustrations on paper and throwing in second-person pronouns, it was us genuinely vocalizing our thoughts to God, speaking/singing to Him. It's a very powerful experience, and you don't need blastbeats or screams to understand it.
This is just something I thought about tonight, and wanted to share.
P.S When this post goes through, this post will go off the page, and it's an important one, so I invite you to look at it. Here is my obligatory plug for this post.
God bless you all according to His perfect will. In Jesus' name. Amen.