Glimpses of the social structure and behavior of whales can be obtained by study of the acoustic calls and songs of these animals. Songs are repeated patterned groups of sounds which typically have a syntax and are only produced by males in each case where data is available.
Some of the large whales produce sounds frequently while other species are relatively quiet. Of the large whales the sperm whales are the most active acoustically, followed by humpback whales, fin whales, and blue whales. Others which are commonly very active acoustically are bowheads, right and gray. Sei, brydes and minke whales are known to make sounds, but there is relatively little understanding of the settings and seasonality corresponding to when these whales are acoustically active. Most of the baleen whales produce song as well as relatively simple communication calls. The right whales and gray whales do not sing, while the songs for some other species such as sei whales and minke whales are just beginning to be understood.