Bass, a skilled and proud street performer, plays a routine tune on his wind and percussion instruments in a deserted Italian village square in the afternoon, waiting for a pedestrian to tip him in his rusty iron cup. Soon, he spots Tippy, a humble peasant girl clutching a big gold coin, and aiming to drop it in the large plaza fountain to make a wish. Bass, seizing the opportunity, immediately plays an impromptupiece, capturing the young girl's attention.
Just when Tippy is about to drop the coin into Bass's cup, a newcomer steps onto the scene. Treble, a suave and flamboyant street performer, plays a more attractive tune on his string instruments, effectively stealing Tippy's attention, much to Bass's anger. Not to be outdone, Bass ups his ante, with Treble daring to take it even further. As the two rivals unleash their arsenal of musical weapons, trying to vie for the attention (or rather, the tip) of Tippy, the girl cowers in their wild musical cacophony, and in the process, accidentally drops her coin, which falls down a drain and gets lost in the sewers of the village.
Heartbroken, Tippy sniffles, but then angrily demands from Treble and Bass a replacement coin for the one they made her lose (just by physically sticking her hand out). When both musicians come up empty-handed, Tippy is left with no choice but to take one of Treble's violins and Bass's iron cup in an attempt to get her money back by playing solo. She then tunes the violin and begins to play it like a true virtuoso, prompting a passing pedestrian to drop a large bag of gold coins onto her cup.
Elated, Tippy hugs the bag and approaches the fountain, but not before she pulls two coins out of her bag and tempts Treble and Bass. But as they eagerly reach out to grab the coins, she tosses them into the top of the fountain, out of reach, much to their dismay.
In a post-credits scene, it is now nighttime, with Treble standing on Bass, trying to reach for the coins. As the two start to fall backward, the film ends.