I am currently in the process of learning a piece that my piano teacher composed. As a bit of homework, in addition to deciphering the first page of music, he asked me to find out the meaning of the word ‘gracile’ (which is printed at the top of the sheet music, as seen in the picture attached.) I have been searching all over google and through piano theory sites and dictionaries and I’m not sure if I’ve just been looking in the wrong places, but I can’t seem to find the definition! So here is my question; does anyone know/would anyone be able to tell me what the definition of ‘gracile’ is? I would really appreciate an answer. Thank you :)enter image description here

  • Could be a translation of the French 'gracieux' - graceful.
    – Tim
    Oct 31, 2017 at 7:52
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    Gracile is an anthropological term meaning slender &/or delicate. It's the opposite of robust. Presumably, but with nothing more than a bit of an extrapolation, I'd guess play it 'delicately'
    – Tetsujin
    Oct 31, 2017 at 7:53
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    Usually instructions in music are in Italian. In Italian gracile means weak or puny but I guess delicate might just about fit. Perhaps not the best choice of word to describe what is wanted though.
    – JimM
    Oct 31, 2017 at 8:55

1 Answer 1


Several words that could convey playing in a 'gracile' manner are - graciously, subdued, daintily, subtly, purely, sensitively, tastefully, lightly, and tenderly. Playing in just about any of these ways will produce the tone and feel needed.

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