It took me literally decades to learn to do this.  Not only did I have to literally close my eyes, but I had also to close off every visual reference to what I was hearing.
In music schools one must take ear training.  The course should properly be named ear-eye symbiosis training.  The student is expected to use standard music notation to write down every sound that is played.
But there is more to sound than can be accounted for in terms of standard notation.  What one hears is often actually in the cracks between two notes, not the "notes" themselves.
So then what does one do?  
My suggestion:  Pay attention.  Pay a different kind of attention, a kind you were not taught even to recognize much less respect.  In so doing you might learn how a composer's mind actually works.
 


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