Al Piantadosi (1882–1955), and his brother, George, founded Al. Piantadosi & Company, Inc in 1918, but in 1920 Al left the firm to work for McCarthy & Fisher, Inc. After Al. Piantadosi & Company had run up large debts, it was sold to Frank Goodman, an employee. Piantadosi's second short-lived venture followed immediately. He founded Alfred Music in 1922, but sold it to Samuel Manus (1883–1958) in 1928. Alfred's web site claims that the name Alfred came frrom Alfred Haase. The firm has been in the Manus family ever since.
Under Morty Manus (1926–2016) in the 1950s, the company entered the education market. In 2005 it acquired Warner Bros. Publications from the Warner Music Group.