A search is presented for pairs of light pseudoscalar bosons, in the mass range from 4 to 15 GeV, produced from decays of the 125 GeV Higgs boson. The decay modes considered are final states that arise when one of the pseudoscalars decays to a pair of tau leptons, and the other one either into a pair of tau leptons or muons. The search is based on proton-proton collisions collected by the CMS experiment in 2016 at a center-of-mass energy of 13 TeV that correspond to an integrated luminosity of 35.9 fb(-1). The 2 mu 2 tau and 4 tau channels are used in combination to constrain the product of the Higgs boson production cross section and the branching fraction into 4 tau final state, sigma beta, exploiting the linear dependence of the fermionic coupling strength of pseudoscalar bosons on the fermion mass. No significant excess is observed beyond the expectation from the standard model. The observed and expected upper limits at 95% confidence level on sigma beta, relative to the standard model Higgs boson production cross section, are set respectively between 0.022 and 0.23 and between 0.027 and 0.19 in the mass range probed by the analysis. (C) 2019 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V.