There are many words which means "center tone of a song", but each word seems to have its own limitation of usage.
- Tonal Center
- Key Center
I heard (and was told) that these are the terms for tonal music and it's not appropriate to use them in other realm of music.
For modal music I often see these words:
- Modal Tonic
- Final (Finalis)
But then, what about other kind of music?
(1) A song not clearly belonging to either "Tonal" or "Modal"
A wholetone scale song, for example, can have a "center" by emphasizing one of the scale notes. But it's controversial whether this kind of songs belong to tonal or modal.
Or recent EDM has some crazy wobble bass solo with pitch bend, yet there's a "center" where you can feel at home.
Wobble basses are played often in Phrygian mode, but again it's hard to judge if I should call it "modal music".
(2) Traditional Ethnic Music
Although ethnic musics often don't fit to western major/minor key theory, they still have their own harmony system and usually have "center" somewhere.
I'm not at all trying to discuss categorizing them into "Tonal" or "Modal" (It'll make no one happy).
I just wonder if there is not a common, global, inclusive term which simply stands for "center tone of the song" regardless of the style of music, which you can use without worrying about these fruitless categorization matter.
I think the best general word is "Tonic", but some even say that tonic also is a word for tonal music.
Do I have no choice but to use lengthy expressions like "center tone of the song" or "a tone where you can feel at home, feel that the phrase ends"?