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Is there an equivalent of the idiom "see in a new light" for hearing rather than sight? For example, suppose the thing you are talking about is a piece of music. It seems a bit inappropriate to describe "seeing it a new light", as the sense involved is hearing, not sight.

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You could say "hear with a new appreciation" or even "hear with new ears". –  user16269 Jul 16 '12 at 6:35
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4 Answers

You could say it's like you heard it for the first time, or put on a set of fresh ears, like this interviewer did:

I liked your record from the first time I heard it when you sent me the advance copy. But today I felt like I heard it for the first time. I put on a set of fresh ears, and I listened. And today I really realized how very good it is.

Out of those two, though, I prefer like I'm hearing it for the first time. It's not all that uncommon a way to express that you're wanting to say:

We've all heard "The Sound of Silence" many many times, but today when Simon sang it at Ground Zero, it was like I heard it for the first time. It took on a new meaning and captured the spirit of the memorial and the day.

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There is no equivalent in sound for how a scene may be illuminated by different qualities of light. For the most part, we see things because of the light they reflect, whereas we hear things because of the sound they emit. There is no 'illuminating sound'. Well, except for sonar.

Sound is influenced a lot more by the environment as it passes from its source to the ear than light on its way from object to eye.

So describing different acoustic environments would be the closest equivalent to 'a different light'.

Heard in a new context.
Heard in a new space.

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I like @David Wallace's suggestions in his comment. You could also say hear anew. It means you have heard something before but now you're hearing it again with a new perspective, and perhaps it has a new or different effect on you.

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I always find the old Kellogg's Corn Flakes commercial works well as an idiom, as long as you substitute the appropriate sense.

"Taste(hear/see/feel/smell) it again for the first time".

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