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まるで耳元で鳴かれているかのようだった。

Why is that? How would it change if i just said 鳴いている?

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Because that writer wanted to emphasize how closely the writer felt to be sung (barked, chirped, etc) to by whatever it is that's making the sounds.

If changed to 鳴いているかの then it emphasizes how closely the singing or whatever making the sounds appeared to be.

Consider these examples below.

抱{だ}く - To hug

抱{だ}かれる - To be hugged

The former is not passive since you are hugging something. The latter is passive because you are being hugged by something. The same logic applies to the 鳴く and 鳴かれる

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