The story begins with a man, named Bass, playing multiple brass instruments, and tries to get a little girl to tip him a coin, but soon meets another musician, named Treble with orchestral instruments. They both instantly become rivals and fight over the girl's coin until she accidentally drops the coin, which falls into a drain. The girl starts to cry and is then angered by the two musicians causing her to lose it, and demands the two one-man-bands for a replacement coin, but they reveal that they are poor and broke. She takes one of the violins from the orchestra one-man-band, re-tuned it, and played an unexpected tune. A rich man, pleased by her performance, gives her a big bag of coins, and the girl eagerly picks it up. Before leaving, she takes two coins for the one-man-bands and tosses them into the top of a fountain, where she was originally going to put her coin in for a wish.
The main theme in the story is greed. Both the musicians wanted the coin from the little girl. They started to compete in a one-on-one competition to see who is the better musician and deserves the coin more. In the end, both of them got nothing. At first, both of them did not want to co-operate with each other, but in the end they had to work together to get the 2 coins at the top of the fountain. It is a truly meaningful short animation by PIXAR.