Music has been around since the beginning of time. People have used music to praise their Gods and celebrate life. Though the origin of music symbols goes way back in history, they weren't exactly the same as the modern symbols we now have.
In the 5th century A.D., Boethius was the first Roman to record the use of notes in music. These music symbols were used by the Greeks and Romans and consisted of 15 letters of the alphabet. The notation was soon named after Boethius, a statesman of the Roman court, and were called the Boethian notation.
More popular in those early days were the use of the music symbols A through G. The same as we use today. To denote the second octave the letters were lowercased. The letters used for the third octave were both lowercased and doubled.
As time passed, a one line staff was developed to show precise pitches. It then evolved into 4 line staffs and 8 line staffs. However, we now use a 5 line staff in modern music symbols.
The Treble clef is one of the most common music symbols. It is used to identify the on the staff that is used as the reference point for all other notes in the piece. The world clef actually means key. The clef started out looking more like a G. This is because the treble clef represented the G above middle C. As time went on, the appearance changed into what is now the modern day music symbol for a treble clef.
Since the first music symbols were developed until the modern sheet music we have today, there have been additions of many music symbols. Repeats, rests, fermatas, and codas barely touch the tip of the ice berg. Although, you can play from sheet music without learning all of them, advanced musicians will need to learn a great deal.