The Music of Elizabeth Alexander

Frequently asked…

…questions about Ordering Music

(For Questions not about Ordering Music, scroll down a little further)

I’m a CUSTOMER interested in buying music. How can I do that?

Some of my newest and most unusual pieces may be purchased right here on this site, but most of my sales are now handled by my trusty music dealers, leaving me more time to create music and interact with performers.

In fact, to make it extra-easy for you, each piece’s webpage includes one or more handy-dandy links leading you to dealers who sell that specific title, either as instantly-downloadable licensed PDFs or as printed sheet music.

Do you already have a favorite music dealer you enjoy working with? No problem! You may always order my music through any music dealer, large or small.

I’m a MUSIC DEALER looking to place an order. How can I do that?

Music dealers are some of the most passionate, service-oriented retailers I’ve ever met, and I count quite a few as personal friends. All of my titles are available for sale through all dealers, with terms that are fair and dealer-friendly.

Most purchase orders arrive through email, but you’re also welcome to just pick up the phone. If this is your first time ordering music, send me a message through my Contact Form. I’ll send you a copy of my Dealer Policy and get you set right up.

If I buy sheet music directly from you, how much will shipping cost?

For direct customer sales my shipping charge is a flat rate of $6.00 no matter what size order you place.

If I buy a licensed PDF directly from you, will I receive it right away?

You can purchase instant downloads of most of my titles from Graphite Marketplace and/or JW Pepper. But if you purchase a licensed PDF from me it won’t be instantly available because I’ll need to create it manually! That might take 2-3 days but if you need it sooner feel free to write that in the memo field, send a message through my contact form, or just give me a call.

I’m buying music for my organization. Can you bill my choir (or church or university or school)?

Absolutely! You’ll receive an invoice by e-mail when your order ships, which you may submit to your organization. Payment is due 30 days after you receive the bill. If your organization takes longer than that to process payments, just let me know.

…questions not about Ordering Music

I’d like to print the lyrics to one of your songs in a concert program. May I do that?

How wonderful that you’re asking permission! You may print any of my original lyrics in concert programs and bulletins, with my blessing. Please include the following copyright notice: “Lyrics copyright (year) by composer Elizabeth Alexander.”

Keep in mind that I’m not in a position to grant reprint permission for lyrics other than my own, even though I publish the music. You’ll need to request that permission yourself. I can provide you with contact information for those poets, lyricists and copyright holders.

Where did the name Seafarer Press come from? Why isn’t the publishing company just named after the composer?

When brainstorming a name for my publishing company I quickly discovered that all of my names and extended family names — Elizabeth, Alexander, Harper, Collins, Adams — happened to be names of established publishing companies. The seed of “Seafarer Press” originally came from my full legal name: (Sarah) Elizabeth Alexander.

Beyond this “initial” reason, there are many auspicious aspects to the name Seafarer Press. For starters, “setting out to sea,” and “being lost at sea” pretty much sum up my experience of starting a business. In addition, “fare” means “to go or travel” (as in “Fare thee well”), and publishing my music has certainly been a journey!


How do you do this all yourself – composing, publishing, marketing, and distributing?

Ha ha ha, that’s very funny. I don’t! I have been blessed with…oh good heavens, how many helpers? Good-natured offspring like Simon and Oliver Alexander-Adams, who spent their formative years assisting with orders, mailing campaigns and conferences. Tech-savvy relatives like Steve Harper and Paul Adams, whom I have mercilessly commandeered into my service countless times over the past 25 years. Other talented and savvy composer-publisher colleagues, who give me great advice and help me solve business challenges.

So there. I have heaps ’n heaps o’ helpers.

Is composer Elizabeth Alexander also a famous poet?

Although composer Elizabeth Alexander (b. 1962, Chester, SC) writes the lyrics to many of her songs, she is not the same Elizabeth Alexander (b. 1962, Harlem, NY) who wrote the poem for Barack Obama’s first inauguration and now heads up the Mellon Foundation. But never fear; you’ll find the poet here! Elizabeth Alexander the Famous Poet.

Do people frequently misspell the titles of your pieces?

Okay, this is not a commonly asked question. In fact, no one asks it. However, it is such a funny answer that I couldn’t resist slipping it in!

Of course, performers and correspondents misspell the titles of my pieces — in delightful ways. The most common typo by far is When the Song of the Angles is Stilled, and I have had many queries over the years for pieces like If You Can Walk You Can Sing, If You Can Talk You Can Dance, and even If You Can Walk You Can Walk.

But wait, it gets way better than that! Here are my all-time favorites:

Honestly, I am not making this up.

Are you a member of ASCAP?

Yes! In the ASCAP database I am listed as both “Elizabeth Alexander” and “Sarah Elizabeth Alexander” (ID#334780654).

Who built your amazing website?

Adrian Tudorache.

I know, I know. Lucky me.