In tonal music, a key center is the pitch or chord around which the music revolves, like a home base where you want to return to. It is important to distinguish that being in the key of C major doesn’t mean that we are playing in the C major scale where the pitches are organized in an octave in a diatonic succession.
Instead, it refers to the pitch collection and all the chords that can be built using that same pitch collection which in turn belong to the C major key center, without chromatic alterations and in no particular order.
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