Louise Durant falls in love with Paul Bronte, a man who loves his violin above all else - even her. While he is finishing his last year at the Conservatory in Zurich, she leaves her wealthy father's home in the south of France to be near him. They meet James Guest, an American soldier with a gift for piano who falls in love with her. Unlike Paul, James loves her more than music.
After his career skyrockets, Paul leaves Louise and she tries to kill herself. James finds her and helps nurse her back to health. They eventually marry and James moves to Paris with Louise and her father. Unfortunately, he gives up the piano and becomes a raging alcoholic.
Paul is giving a concert in Paris and runs into Louise's father on the street. He calls her and says he wants to see her. While he waits for her in the bar, he runs into a very inebritaed James and finds out that they have married and she has ruined him. Paul is horrified to see what he could have become and leaves quickly.
Louise decides that she's going to prove to Paul that she did not ruin James and drags James back to Zurich to finish his studies. He practices for hours on end and finally has his debut. Just before the show, Louise tells him that he has to perform without her because she is running away with Paul after the show...