So true. Of course, music was around long before notation. Songs were done live and memorized. Songs were stories and history. We have been extremely blessed to have recorded music in our lifetime. But the great composers relied on notation. Imagine trying to have a symphony orchestra without music notation.
And there were many varieties of music notation before (and after) a “standard” was settled on. Lutes had a system of notion that was very much like guitar tablature (TAB) that has been used for guitar since the 1980s. Guitar TAB is far easier to learn than standard music notation. It takes about 5 minutes to learn it. Which is one of the reasons why most guitar players (sadly) don’t bother learning to read standard notation (my guitar students do.)