Symphonic Rain takes place in a fictional city of apparently Italian heritage, where rain falls everyday. The locals there have adapted to this peculiar phenomenon, and carry on with their lives as if the rain was never there. No one takes an umbrella, no one wears a rain coat.
The main character of the story is 17 year old Chris, a Fortelle student of the famous Piova Communal School of Music (Scuola Comunale di Musica Piova, in Italian). Separated from his childhood sweetheart Arietta when he left his home town for the city, he keeps in touch with her through the means of weekly letters. Penning their thoughts on those letters, Chris treasures and keeps her weekly writings, for he had promised her that should his drawer become totally filled with them, he would return to her.
The game starts during Chris's third year as a student, a few months before he has to take the school's final graduation examination: a staged performance. As an instrumentalist, he is required to search for a vocalist partner before he is eligible for the examination.
Beside the adventure parts that makes most of the game, Symphonic Rain includes musical sequences. In which the player is required to press keys on the keyboard in correct timing to accompany the current song. These sequences can be turned to automatic if the player doesn't wish to participate.