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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?

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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.

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