The Harmonists follows the lives of a German sextet from their inception in the '20s to their eventual demise by the hand of Hitler's Nazi regime. The film begins with Harry Frommermann (Ulrich Noethen), an impoverished but talented musician. He writes his own songs and attempts to make a living from them. Music fascinates him and he spends much of his time at a local record store, listening to the newest releases. As time goes on, however, Harry's financial situation worsens. A low point comes, when the young musician can't even afford food for his parrot. With life coming to a dead end, Harry looks for a way out. He places an advertisement in the local newspaper, seeking fellow musicians to start up a band. Soon, the ad is answered by a man named Robert Bieberti (Ben Becker). The two immediately hit it off and begin writing songs together. Four more musicians join up and rehearsals kick off.