Definition of character piece in US English:

character piece

noun

  • 1Any literary or artistic work chiefly concerned with the depiction of the personality of one or more of its characters.

  • 2Music a short composition (typically for piano) intended to evoke a given mood, atmosphere, scene, etc., by purely musical means (rather than through text or dramatic action).

Origin

Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Encyclopedia Americana. After German Charakterstück and its model French pièce de caractère; compare earlier characteristic piece.