Souvenir Music from the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893

A Musical Map of Midway Plaisance

This musical map of the Midway at the 1893 World's Fair takes an audible tour through Gustav Lueders’ souvenir piano piece, An Afternoon in Midway Plaisance, which purports to take the listener on an audio tour of some of the most famous attractions of the Midway. (Surprisingly, there is no section devoted to the Ferris Wheel, which debuted to great popular appeal at the Fair). Instead of playing the music straight through, I recorded each section separately, and then attached these to links on a map of the Midway from one of the guidebooks.

How to Take the Tour: 

  1. Move your mouse over the map to highlight different areas of the Midway,  the pavilions that Lueders wrote music to represent. (You can access the same tracks via the map's legend below).
  2. Once you click on a link, the view will shift to clips from Lueders’ score and contemporary photographs from that pavilion. Each segment lasts about a minute. 
  3. To return to the main screen and choose a new pavilion, click on the “Return” button in the upper right-hand corner of the viewing window to return to the map page.

Note: the tour is not currently optimized for mobile devices. You may be able to see images for each site, but not hear the music. Please use a standard desktop web browser for the full experience. 

If you would like to experience the music in Lueders’ original order, follow the path of the list below:

  1. Going to the Fair by Train (click on no. 1, Station Sliding Railway)
  2. The Chinese Temple (click on 8a, Chinese Village).
  3. In Old Vienna (click on 7, Austrian Village)
  4. The Persian Dancers (click on 31, Persian Theater). The famous “hoochie koochie” music  was actual heard at the Streets of Cairo exhibit, not the Persian Theater. Leudens therefore  mistakenly includes it as part of his section on "the Persian Dancers," where you can hear it below.
  5. The German Village (click on 21)
  6. The Irish Village (click on 41)
  7. In the Streets of Cairo (click on 18)
  8. At Hagenbecks** (click on 26). Hagenbecks refers to a popular wild animal show. And although we hear the famous “hoochie koochie” music in this piece, it was actually heard at the Streets of Cairo exhibit, not in the Persian Theater.

Click on the Midway map below to open the musical exhibit in a new window: 

Images on the musical map are from the following sources: 

Stuart C. Wade, ed., Rand, McNally and Co.'s Handbook of the World's Columbian Exposition (Chicago: Rand, McNally and Co., 1893). 

Bancroft, Hubert Howe. The Book of the Fair, an Historical and Descriptive Presentation of the World's Science, Art, and Industry, as Viewed Through the Colubian Exposition at Chicago in 1893. (Chicago, San Francisco : The Bancroft Company, 1893).