Music Composers Unite!
I can't say it's "really good," but Joseph Schillinger--a Russian music theorist, pedagogue, and composition teacher to George Gershwin and a host of other talented American Broadway, Big Band, and movie composers--wrote a fairly provocative two-volume set entitled The Schillinger System of Musical Composition, which begins with a theory of rhythm. He also wrote The Mathematical Basis of the Arts and several companion reference works which serve as compendiums of rhythms, chords, etc. His books are now out of print, but can be obtained through your local college library through Interlibrary Loan if they are not available as part of the library's regular collection. I tried to read through his books for a directed study project in college and found them to be poorly written. However, his theories, once understood, have led to very fruitful composition. Porgy and Bess was composed using Schillinger's theories as was Glenn Miller's Moonlight Serenade and many other compositions by Schillinger's students which have become staples of early 20th Century American music. In my opinoin the best way to access Schillinger's arcane theories is to study with someone who has mastered them and can translate them into simpler terms. I studied online with Jeremy Arden, who offers online correspondence courses in Schillinger theory at reasonable prices. I found them helpful studies that directly impacted my compositional technique. You can visit his website at the following address.
Hi, I don't know if this is the kind of thing you were thinking of:
It's an article by Steve Vai, covering some interesting rhythmic concepts.
I have a book by William Russo (a jazz composer) called Composing and Arranging for Jazz Orchestra which
has got a good chapter on rhythm, amonst other things. I think it is still in print- I got mine from amazon.
Haha...nice article by Steve Vai, Will, with some interesting "wrinkles" that were new to me.
Check out "The Gateway to Rhythm" a video by guitarist John McLaughlin and Selva Ganesh. It has some great introductory and intermediate lessons on Konokol, If you are not familiar with Konokol it is the ancient South Indian art of performing percussion syllables vocally. This approach sounds very fresh to me in western music. It's a great way to free us from the tyranny of the barline. Also check out the player piano music of Conlon Nancarrow.