I’m studying string articulations and I’m having trouble finding the difference between these off the bow articulations. Why should a composer choose to use martele in a situtuation instead of something like an an accent or sfz or even a down bow?
Articulation signs are signs indicating what kind of articulation the composer wants. He might not think about which technique the performer will apply.
Martele is a technique that bowed string players can apply. If your sheet music has indications of which bow technique to use it is often the publisher's suggestion.
I am both a string player and a composer and I usually write articulations without specifying which technique to use, letting the performer decide. Sometimes I write a down bow or up bow sign, but not too much of that. If I perform the music myself I might play it differently at different times depending on the type of music I have written.