The Delicate Pianist is a piano player, never of the Dreadful Musician
kind, usually (but not always) very attractive and slim, sometimes a little fragile. In fiction this is frequently used to tell us that a character is very sensitive, deep, artistic, talented, musical etc., or to show us the Hidden Depths
of a Deadpan Snarker
The piano is an obvious choice here as piano pieces an the instrument itself are also very elegant, but not necessarily too fancy since it's an inherent part of classical music as well as Pop/Rock.
In music it mostly overlaps with Singer Songwriter
In film and live-action TV it's often a case of The Cast Showoff
May overlap with Elegant Classical Musician
if the character's play is a turn-on for others In-Universe
. Compare with Harp of Femininity
when the harp is present to show that the character is lady-like and feminine.
Contrast with The Piano Player
, who is more of a provider of background music than an independent character.
Anime & Manga
- Tsumugi Kotobuki, the classically trained keyboardist of the school band in K-On!. Everyone in the series is quite good-looking, but she's described as having a certain gentleness even still.
- In Axis Powers Hetalia, Austria is a master pianist, and rather slim and soft-spoken. His piano solos make Hungary melt... along with Austria's Eleventy Zillion other fangirls.
- Haruka from Uta No Prince Sama plays piano as a composer and fits the "delicate" part due to her Ill Girl constitution. Masato is also a pianist, and his Tall, Dark and Handsome Ice King schtick qualifies him for this trope.
- Yin from Darker Than Black is a Doll, a sort of (nearly) Emotionless Girl. However, her Origins Episode shows that prior to the Super Empowering event that turned some people into Dolls and other into Contractors she was a skilled pianist, despite having no sight.
- Chiaki from Nodame Cantabile is always graceful when playing the piano (and the violin) as opposed to the more sloppy Nodame. He also happens to be Tall, Dark and Snarky.
- Played with in Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Man's Chest. In one scene Davy Jones is seen playing the organ in a very ecstatic manner. Despite the brutality of his play, this shows us his sympathetic side for the first time and serves as a Foreshadowing for the events of the third film.
- Molly Mahoney (played by Natalie Portman) in Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium. Piano playing is the job she turns to in order to make money when Magorium's in hospital, but she was also a child prodigy and is often seen trying to compose her own symphony. She really is elegant even when pretending to play on the rail in a bus.
- Jane Fairfax from Emma is a delicate and gentle English Rose with fragile health. She's rather tall and slender. People love listening to her performance on the piano and everybody praises her taste in music.
- Miss Marianne Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility is a talented pianist with deep feelings for music and poetry. She's very passionate and over the course of the novel she loses her health.
- Anne Elliot from Persuasion is a young woman who lost her bloom. She has elegant and cultured mind and she's a great pianist, but nobody understands her and she feels alone — even in music. She could share her love of music only with her late mother and her former fianc├ę.
- The Awakening:
- Mademoiselle Reisz is a professional pianist of extraordinary skill. She's homely, unfashionable and fairly arrogant, but people admire her talent and dedication to music. She encourages Edna to be an artist.
- Adele Ratignolle is Edna's close friend and devoted to her family, a prime example of ideal mother and ideal wife. She's gentle and fragile, and keeps up with only one hobby, playing the piano, because it makes her home more attractive.
- In one memorable scene of Twin Peaks Donna Hayward's little sister Gersten wows her parents' dinner guests, the Palmers, with a Mendelssohn piece, while being dressed as a princess.
- A character played by Alicia Witt, Rosalind Harker in The Mentalist. Her lover Red John enjoys her play very much. Also Jane is visibly moved when he listens to her.
- In House, Gregory House, MD is a Doctor Jerk and extremely annoying to everybody. He's frequently seen on the piano and playing with extraordinary skill which contrasts his Deadpan Snarker persona.
- In Monday Mornings, one fourteen-year-old girl and Littlest Cancer Patient is revealed to be a gifted piano player. She bonds with her love for music with Doctor Hooden, who is considered to be an extremely hard person.
- Ephram Brown from Everwood is Troubled, but Cute and a Deadpan Snarker. Being an amazingly talented pianist is his defying trait. He's a bit of an outsider, coming from New York and feeling he doesn't fit in Everwood where his father dragged him after his mother's death.
- The song "Piano in the Dark" by Brenda Russell deals with a woman who is unable to leave her love interest because of his awe-inspiring piano play.
- Julia Heartilly, the pianist of a hotel bar in Final Fantasy VIII, who is tall, thin and pale, and noted to be rather shy and reserved, qualities that attract the attention of Laguna Loire and later General Caraway, with whom she would eventually have a daughter, Rinoa. Though skilled at the piano, her true desire was to make it as a singer.
- Wladyslaw Szpilman on whose life The Pianist is about. His play had a major role in keeping him alive during the Holocaust.
- Fryderyk Chopin was a well-known pianist and composer of piano music. He suffered from frail health most of his life, eventually dying of tuberculosis at just 38.