Considering strictly modern instruments, a family consisting of four members.

The title member of the family, the oboe, is the soprano member, in the key of C. Modern orchestras, as a standard, have two oboe players with a third playing both oboe and English Horn as necessary.

The English Horn is the second most common member of the family, in the key of F. This instrument is considerably longer than the oboe and has a pear-shaped bell, which is considered commonly to produce a darker, more mellow tone -- although practical experiments show the shape has no bearing on the tone. The English Horn is generally considered a solo instrument in orchestral literature, beginning in the Romantic period and continuing to this day. Most famously, the English Horn plays a solo in the slow movement of Antonin Dvorak's Ninth Symphony (old No. 5). It is also featured in the Pastorale movement of Hector Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique, to name a very small portion of the literature.

Less common members of the family include the oboe d'amore (also, oboe d'amour) and the bass oboe. The oboe d'amore is in the key of A, and the bass oboe, in C, but one octave below the soprano member.

The oboe d'amore is shaped similarly to the English Horn, but it is considerably smaller and lighter in weight and tone, while still larger than the oboe. It is featured most often in works of Baroque music, most notably of Johann Sebastian Bach. However, Richard Strauss also made extensive use of it in his tone poems, and other, more modern composers, have reawakened to the oboe d'amore's particular attributes as the "alto" member of this family.

The least well-known member of the modern oboe family is the bass oboe. The existence of this member may be little more than a vestige of the Renaissance practice of filling out consorts of instruments, as this instrument is little used in modern orchestral literature. It is used, however, in Gustav Holst's The Planets, to great novel effect.

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