I am a non-drummer/non-percussionist well versed, for my personal purposes, in tonal harmony - up to the point where tonal chord structures can be implemented without functional movement and serve to harmonize melody in a more "abstract" sense.
Specifically, when confronted with a piece of music or the task of composing, my ability to derive something of a "logical reasoning" behind why the relatively tonal harmony sounds the way it does is personally both very satisfying and empowering.
I wish to achieve this style of understanding and level of confidence in rhythm and percussion/drums. Is there any specific resource/methodology you would recommend? And is there a "rhythm theory" that "axiomatizes" rhythm in the same way one can make rules/guidelines about the sounds of harmony?
Musically, the way I understand rhythm and the extent of my practical knowledge goes as follows: You have a time signature and this tells you how to space out harmony and gives guidelines of how to accentuate melodic phrases, and then a specific rhythm can be added for more structure (e.g., swing, samba, diverse cross/polyrhythms etc) which will also give you a particular "feel." But I feel that I am missing so much of the finer details, the stuff that actually gives you goosebumps, and it is very frustrating. Ultimately, I don't think or compose in the "language" of percussion and I would love to know how to.
The main goal is not to actually learn to play percussion (obviously that would be beneficial), but to be both a better listener/interpreter of drums and be able to better implement percussion (composition-wise or when improvising with a drummer).
I am mainly looking for thoughts from non-percussionist and how you deal with this issue, but any advice is welcome and would be highly appreciated!