Well, I always get confused over the use of this phrase. Basically, it means taking credit for the performance done by artists by bowing their heads down, and I know that but what about using it for myself for showing respect to others who have done something great? Just consider a sentence - " The soldiers have done a tremendous job in rescuing thousand lives,I take a bow".Can I use it like that?
Not if you want to make a sign of respect towards the soldiers for their good job.
Unless you are responsible somehow for example if you trained them, you cannot say that because it implies somehow that you deserve credit.
If you want to show respect but you are not actually physically bowing down, You can say:
The soldiers have done a tremendous job in rescuing thousands of lives, I bow before them.
This implies (without actually having to be in front of them and physically bow down) that you have so much respect that you would bow down.
In a comment, Edwin Ashworth answered:
No — it is the people deserving respect, not those giving it, who take a bow (or, more usually, are 'bidden' to "take a bow"). I've put scare-quotes round 'bidden', because when you bid someone to take a bow, you don't really mean them to do it. "Take a bow" essentially means "Very well done."