Historically, before - even the ancient Greeks - there was character (based on national writing) system, which is widely used by them and was quite advanced.
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Starting around VI century, along with Greek letters in the notation are also used letters of the alphabet, and to the X century they completely replaced the system of Greek names and symbols of sounds.
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In the Middle Ages diatonic seven-step audio series was built from the sound of A as follows (in our understanding of the Phrygian scale corresponds to the mode).
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Therefore, in forming his tones, ranging from A, and were fixed as the letter designations of steps the first seven letters of the alphabet - A (a), B (b), C (c), D (d), E (e), F ( f), G (g), corresponding (in modern notation syllable) sound of La (A), B-flat (B flat), Up (up), D (re) MI (E), F (F) and salt (salt). When later there was a change order and the fundamental tone of the scale was the sound of C (before), to designate a new sound that emerged at the VII degree, began to use the next letter of the alphabet - H (h), corresponding to the sound of the Cu (B).