Johannes Brahms, the frail little son of poor parents, spent the first years of his life in a wretched tenement in the old harbor city of Hamburg. It is here that the present story opens. His father, an irresponsible musician, kept the child up, playing the piano at low taverns, until all hours of the night for whatever small payment he could get. However, little Johannes' love for fine music and for composing finally led to lessons and then to a speedy success. Composing, teaching, playing on whatever piano was found available, these filled the boy's day. The present book closes when, at fifteen he dedicates a beautiful piece to Lieschen, the lovely daughter of Adolph Giesemann in whose home he has spent the summer. Several of Brahms' best known compositions are included.