I got the reference. I haven't read Neverending Story but I saw the film I think. It had something to do with Das Boot, either the actor, Jurgen Prochnow was in it or it was directed by Wolfgang Petersen; probably the latter.
I think one of the places music is likely to go is into the healing arts, not in a cheezy new age sense of bland sonics, but as the physical properties of sound vibration and their affects on the body are increasingly understood.
In the 80's there used to be these annual festivals called New Music America that would be in a different city each year. One year it was in Houston and some friends of mine were invited to perform. They told me one of the most wonderful things they experienced was Stuart Dempster's sonic massage tent. He's a trombonist and master of the digeridoo, probably best known for the recordings he did in the Chapel of Clement VI with its 14 second echo decay. He likes to add sort of humorous theatrics to his performances. Sonic massage consisted of going into this tent and lying down and he would come in and play the digeridoo directing the end of it very close to the body and move slowly along so that you'd be bathed in the sound waves. Very relaxing according to them.
Mentioning Stuart brings up two perfomances I witnessed. In one he played trombone and the whole piece was performed from inside a burlap sack. What was amazing was when the audience filed in there was this lumpy burlap covered thing on the floor in the performance area. None of us could figure out what it was. Turned out he was already inside with his bone, probably a full forty minutes before the music started, without moving or making a sound.
Another time I saw him he came out wearing a naval commander's hat, day glo white gloves and dark glasses and the performance consisted of circular breathing trombone playing in which he spoke MacArthur's resignation speech through the horn; truly hilarious, but also quite musical. I've also seen him play digeridoo, circular breathing, while slowly dervishing on one leg.