During Brahms’s lifetime his compositions were considered not only popular music but sometimes actual folk songs themselves. Brahms’s love and reverence for the genuine
folk song is seen throughout his work. It has been noted that Brahms was not a technical scholarof folk music – misunderstandings about the music’s authenticity were fairly widespread among nineteenth century musicians, particularly in Germany.
His preoccupation, rather, was with the spirit of folk music as an ideal form of heartfelt expression.