In many types of network, the relationship between structure and function is of great significance. We are particularly interested in community structures, which arise in a wide variety of domains. We apply a simple oscillator model to networks with community structures and show that waves of regular oscillation are caused by synchronised clusters of nodes. Moreover, we show that such global oscillations may arise as a direct result of network topology. We also observe that additional modes of oscillation (as detected through frequency analysis) occur in networks with additional levels of topological hierarchy and that such modes may be directly related to network structure. We apply the method in two specific domains (metabolic networks and metropolitan transport) demonstrating the robustness of our results when applied to real world systems. We conclude that (where the distribution of oscillator frequencies and the interactions between them are known to be unimodal) our observations may be applicable to the detection of underlying community structure in networks, shedding further light on the general relationship between structure and function in complex systems.